The Apple iPhone is scheduled to be released at some point this fall. Its aesthetic has been been rumored to have a new design. Tech aficionados believe that customers will have a choice of 4.7 inch and 5.5 inch screens. If true, this represents a solid increase in size compared to the previous jump from the iPhone 4’s 3.5 inches to the iPhone 5’s 4 inches. If the increase in screen size comes to fruition, it will put the iPhone 6 on par with the screens of the Windows and Android phones.
The phone is expected to have a more efficient and much faster A8 chip, a thinner chassis and slimmer bezels. It might be as thin as 6mm or 7mm, making its thickness comparable to the iPod touch. Current iPhone 5s have 7.6mm of thickness and the iPod touch is around 6mm. The smaller version of the iPhone 6 is scheduled to be put up for sale this September while the 5.5 inch model will arrive towards the end of the year or even in early 2015.
While details are sketchy at this point, it appears as though both models will have an improved resolution with their larger displays. It is expected that the 4.7 inch model will have a pixel density of 416 and a resolution of 1704 x 960 pixels on a sapphire crystal screen. The 5.5 inch model will likely have a pixel density of 365. Estimates from famed electronics analyst Ming-Chi Kuo set the 4.7 inch screen version of the phone at 1334 x 750 and the 5.5 inch version at 1920 x 1080 Estimates of the phone’s ppi range from 356 to 401 for the 5.5 inch iPhone 6’s screen and from 326 to 421 for the 4.7 inch model. It is thought that the phone will keep the 16:9 ratio that is found on the iPhone 5, 5s and 5c versions. Though Apple has been hesitant to give their phones new resolutions, the boost in pixels is the only means to produce a bigger phone screen while keeping a good retina quality display. The company has been shy of new resolutions as they have been fearful of device fragmentation problems tripping up the phone’s app developers.
Appearance and General Rumors
A prototype of the phone’s parts leaked to a Chinese microblogging website called Weibo. Aside from the very thin bezel, the phone also looked to have the same cutouts as previous versions for a camera that faces frontwards, an ear speaker, a home button and a light sensor. It appears as though the camera lens protrudes forward a bit because the phone’s body is so slim. This is also partially due to the camera’s larger size for this year’s version of the phone. The phone’s volume buttons appear to be shaped like small pills. It looks like the sleep and wake button has been moved to the right hand side of the phone in order for easier access.
The mockups that leaked in May presented a two tone design with smooth corners, insert slots for antenna and an aluminum rear. There are speaker holes along the phone’s base. Photos of the phone have leaked that show it in gray, silver and gold. Phone experts are comparing the iPhone 6’s aesthetic to that of the Google Nexus 5 and the Samsung Galaxy S5. According to www.macrumors.com, the dimensions of the mockup are 138mm in height, 67mm in width and 7mm of thickness. This is a significant boost over the much more diminutive iPhone 5 which is 124mm in height, 58 mm in width and 7.6 mm in thickness.
A Sapphire Crystal Screen?
It is likely that Apple will continue to utilize Low Temperature Poly Silicon (LTPS) technology for the new iPhone. LTPS provides ideal electron mobility when compared to Indium Gallium Zinc Oxide (IGZO). It has been rumored that the phone’s screen might switch from the current Corning Gorilla Glass to sapphire crystal for a cleaner display. This would likely occur as a result of Apple’s partnership with GT Advanced which will allow the company to create large numbers of sapphire crystal screens at a much lower than normal cost. Many cell phone producers shy away from crystal sapphire as it is costly to produce. Another part of the reason why analysts think that the phone will have this style of display is that Apple filed documents with the Foreign Trade Zone Board back in January of 2014 where it was stated that the company sought an aggressive timeline for an important new component of Apple products. Tech analysts believe that this component is the sapphire crystal display for the highly anticipated iPhone 6.
It has been reported on www.macrumors.com that sleuths have discovered that Google’s new partner, GT Advanced bought 518 sapphire furnace / chamber systems and also ordered another 420 for future purposes. Yet analyst Ming-Chi Kuo thinks that material shortages and the high cost associated with sapphire displays will cause Apple to put the sapphire display screen only on the larger, 5.5 inch model of the new iPhone 6.
While early rumors floated the idea of the iPhone 6 having a screen that curves, more recent rumors make it look like the phone might have a regular, run of the mill flat screen that is found on iPhone 5s. It appears as though Apple will use a thin 0.4mm backlight model to make the iPhone 6 lighter and much thinner. This increases the amount of available space for other parts.
The iPhone 6’s processor will reportedly have a 20 nanometer A8 chip from TSMC. This will be much smaller than the 64 bit A7 28 nanometer chip that is currently used in iPhone 5s. It appears as though Samsung will still play a part in the chip production to lighten the load on TSMC. The new chip will increase the phone’s performance by more than 30 percent. It is rumored that the new A8 chip will have a quad core 64 bit processor as well as quad core graphics capabilities. Yet tech experts believe that the new A8 chip will still only have 1 gig of RAM which does not represent an improvement over the iPhone 5’s A7 chip.
It is worth noting that Apple extended its license agreement with Imagination Technologies. This is the group that provides Apple with the video hardware and PowerVR graphics utilized by electronics that have iOS. So, the iPhone 6 will likely have the Series6 graphics that are used in the iPhone 5. It is not expected that the phone will have the Series 6XT PowerVR GPU that provides a 50 percent bump in processing performance compared to older cores.
Rumors are flying that the iPhone 6’s camera will utilize the 8 megapixel sensor of the iPhone 5 and iPhone 5c. Yet there will likely be other improvements made to the iPhone 6’s camera. Just as the iPhone 5 had a larger pixel size, a better overall quality, a bigger aperture and improved software, the iPhone 6 will probably have similar quality boosts. It appears as though the Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) will be improved. Apple has been working on a deal with InvenSense, the creators of the OIS gyroscope that utilizes motion tracking to keep the unit stable for ideal picture shots. Hopefully, this technology will be utilized to its fullest on the iPhone 6 with the help of InvenSense. If Apple’s talks with InvenSense break down, they will probably go with Electronic Image Stabilization which will allow for a thin camera lens that will stay completely within the phone’s body.