Risk On

iPhone 6: Making Sense of the Noise


iPhone 6 concept design by Nikola Cirkovic

Here’s the evidence we have so far:

2014 Launch: We’re definitely getting the iPhone 6 next year, the only question is when? Based on recent movements of Taiwan Semiconductor (TSM) (who is set to be the main supplier of Apple’s upcoming A8 ARM Processor) I’m confident Apple is aiming to push up the release of the iPhone 6 to a 1H (most likely June) launch. In September, Taiwan Semiconductor aggressively speed up equipment purchasing for the 20nm chip fab process “which is slated to enter volume production in the first quarter of 2014”. This equipment purchasing was originally due to be completed in Q1, indicating Apple is getting aggressive and pushing for a 1H launch (Read More). Most are still betting on Q3, but I believe the evidence for a Summer launch is there. 

Larger Screen: Multiple reports from multiple sources have all but confirmed something that has been speculated on for over two years; iPhone 6 will get a bigger display. This display will be between 4.5 and 5.5 inches, with the smart money betting on 4.9 inches.

Bezel-less, Curved Glass Display: Speculation of a curved display began back in March when Apple filed a patent describing an “Electronic device with wrap around display“, and was renewed earlier this month when Bloomberg (citing “sources familiar with the plans”) published a report claiming Apple “is developing new iPhone designs including bigger screens with curved glass” (Read Here).


Source: USPTO

64-bit A8 Processor (20nm Arc): This one is a given. 20nm means more power and longer battery life in a smaller package. Taiwan Semiconductor (TSM) will be the main supplier. (Read More)

5th Gen WiFi (802.11ac): While no specific rumors have surfaced regarding the new WiFi standard, Apple has already implemented it in its newest computer offerings, and the latest Airport routers. 802.11ac promises WLAN throughput of at least 1GB per second. It makes sense they would include the latest radio in their next-gen mobile lineup as well.

Liquidmetal/Sapphire Crystal: There has been speculation of a “Liquidmetal iPhone w/ a Sapphire Crystal display” for at least two years now. Patents detailing processes for mass-produciton of the futuristic materials have surfaced recently, and Apple’s recent financing of a Sapphire Crystal plant in Arizona for supply partner GT Advanced Technologies (GTAT) have furthered fueld the speculation. While this leads me to believe we’ll see an iPhone made exclusively of these materials in the coming years, none of the evidence points to them being ready for mass-production in 2014.

Higher Price: Investor’s Business Daily published a report claiming Apple will raise the price of the iPhone 6 to maintain margins. This makes sense, and would also further distinguish the iPhone 6 from the 5s/5c creating a new “premium” line of iPhone’s.

iOS 8: There will be a big focus on Maps integration, and iBeacon. (And if we’re making requests, can we get widgets already?)

Check back here periodically. I will update this thread anytime new information becomes available.

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