This chapter of the iPhone story is no different. Other smartphone vendors such as SAMSUNG ELECT LTD(F) (SSNLF), Sony Corporation (SNE), and HTC release their offerings before Apple does. They usually upgrade their phones quicker too, compared to the year or so that Apple normally takes for an upgrade. Bearing that in mind, it is likely that the iPhone 6 will be unveiled in September/October this year. Before that, Apple will introduce iOS 8 at the World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC) in June.
Speculations and predictions aside, we think that the iPhone 6 will either be a total surprise or a total disappointment. The latter is something that Apple can no longer afford. The Cupertino-based company has eschewed radical change for minor upgrades in its last three iPhones, and with the saturating smartphone market, Apple CEO Tim Cook has promised in a memo to the company’s employees that 2014 will be a big year.
What to Expect From Apple's iPhone 6?
There is broad agreement among fans, gadget reviewers, and analysts that the iPhone 6 will not only be lighter and thinner, but will come with a larger 4.7-inch screen compared to the iPhone 5s’s 4-inch display. Considering Apple’s recent naming convention, the new phone may very well be called the “iPhone Air.” Although it is rumored that Apple will introduce two phones this year – with a 5.5-inch iPhone 6 complementing the 4.7-inch – we believe that this is extremely unlikely given that last year when Apple launched two smartphones, the iPhone 5c was a failure.
Alongside the 4.7-inch display, the iPhone 6 is also likely to have an “unbreakable” sapphire touchscreen, sapphire being the hardest material after diamond. Apple recently struck a deal with sapphire-maker GT Advanced Technologies (GTAT), which will manufacture sapphire for the company at its Arizona plant. Currently, sapphire is used in the camera lens and home button of the iPhone. Whether GT Advanced will be able to meet Apple’s supply needs, however, is still unclear.
iPhone 6 Hardware
The new phone’s processor will surely be more powerful than that of previous iPhones. The iPhone 6 is likely to have a quad-core A8 processor, which will result in greater power as well as better efficiency. With a shift to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co.'s 20-nanometer process technology for the microprocessors seeming likely, the iPhone 6 will likely provide power-packed performance.
iPhone 6 Software
Apple introduces hundreds of new features with every upgrade of its operating system, so iOS 8, which is expected in June at WWDC, is naturally expected to be a major overhaul of its preceding software. The company is working on improving its maps app, which was an embarrassing flop, and likely add public transit directions to it.
We think Apple will join the bandwagon of health apps and introduce its own array of health-related apps with its new software. Samsung already introduced a heart rate monitor in the Galaxy S5 that was integrated with the Korean smartphone maker’s health app. Consequently, Apple is likely to introduce its own health apps this year. Wearable tech such as the rumored iWatch will be compatible with the iPhone 6 too, and could incorporate health apps and sensors.
Lastly, the pay-to-tap feature that the company was hoping to introduce with its fingerprint sensor is likely to see developments and integrations.
Analysts have revised up their estimates prior to the iPhone 6’s release. Recently, Pacific Crest's analyst Andy Hargreaves upgraded Apple to 'outperform' from 'sector perform' on the belief that the company will introduce the iPhone 6 with a 4.7-inch screen, which at $299 on contract will be $100 more expensive when compared to the current on-contract price of the 5s.
Check back on Bidness Etc soon for updates on the iPhone 6
For an in-depth analysis on Apple Inc. (AAPL), read Bidness Etc's piece: Apple Looking Ripe for Investment