The dust on the Apple’s latest iPhones had barely settled when we started hearing about the next-gen version, supposedly called the iPhone 6. As the year 2014 flagged off, the rumours started getting stronger about the various features we can expect. From iOS 8 and Healthbook to newer battery technology and iWatch compatibility, the rumour mill has been working overtime churning out tidbits about Apple’s next generation iPhone. Needless to say, we are pretty excited to see what the iPhone 6 brings to the table. Let’s take a quick look at what we know so far.
The rumours around the alleged iPhone 6 kick started with analysts predicting a 4.8-inch display for the next-gen Apple device, backed by revelations from component suppliers. After reportedly testing sizes starting at 4 inches and going up to a massive 6 inches, Apple is believed to have zeroed on a 4.8-inch display size. It should be noted that Apple has been loyal to the 3.5-inch display since the first iPhone was launched way back in 2007. We saw a slightly larger display of 4 inches in the iPhone 5. If Apple opts for 4.8-inch display, it will be the largest display thus far.
Sapphire crystal display protection
A recent report revealed that Apple’s sapphire crystal manufacturing unit in Arizona could go live as soon as next month. It is highly speculated that February kick-off is a hint that the next-gen iPhone will have a sapphire crystal display, followed by other iDevices. Sapphire displays would mean more durable iPhones that have a longer shelf life. Apple has also applied for a patent for off-screen gestures using pressure sensitivity, where too a sapphire crystal display makes most sense. Late last year, there were reports that GT Advanced Technologies had inked a deal with Apple for sapphire crystal.
iOS 8 is expected to debut with the iPhone 6 and word is Apple is betting big on health and fitness tracking features, and will come integrated with the Healthbook app. Reports also claim that iOS 8 wouldn’t be much different from iOS7 in terms of the UI and only has minor changes. This may not surprise many, as Apple redesigned iOS greatly for version 7.0.
Heathbook and iWatch
The fitness-focussed iOS 8 is rumoured to include a dedicated app called Healthbook as a one-stop solution for all things fitness related. The app is said to be visually similar to Passbook and could work in tandem with the rumoured iWatch. In fact, the iWatch is cited as the reason for a sudden interest in health tracking apps within Apple. The Healthbook app could reportedly monitor users’ vital signs such as heart rate, blood pressure, hydration levels, and also glucose levels. The iWatch could reportedly collect data gathered by the Healthbook app from the various sensors in the iPhone. This is probably the reason why Apple has integrated the M7 motion co-processor in the A7 chipset. There is also the possibility of integrating iWatch with Apple Maps for location tracking and navigation.
Two iPhones and a summer launch
Apple is likely to launch two new versions of the iPhone in 2014, with both allegedly sporting 4.8-inch displays. So, it could launch a successor to the iPhone 5s, and a slightly “cheaper” successor to the iPhone 5c. Both models are believed to come with metal casings and the plastic exterior used in iPhone 5c won’t be returning. Rumours also claim summer 2014 launch for the iPhones. However, it is quite unlikely, since that is usually reserved for Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference.
8MP camera with improved OIS
Supply chain chatter suggests that Apple’s next-generation iPhone will not feature the previously rumoured 13-megapixel or 16-megapixel camera. Instead, the company will rope in an 8MP snapper, just like the iPhone 5s, but with some functional improvements including in the optical image stabilization (OIS) module.
Interchangeable camera lens
Apple has got patents for interchangeable mobile camera lenses. The patent is touted to result into an official accessory from Apple, perhaps a case. The patent mentions a camera add-on that connects using a physical locking mechanism like a DSLR lens, as well as a magnetic component for quicker attachment.
Apple reportedly has more than 200 patents for stylus. The iPen patent allows determining the orientation of the stylus through a sensor which is fitted in the stylus as well as the slate.
That’s what we have heard about the iPhone, but Apple is also working on the iWatch, which is said to feature innovative battery charging methods namely. Could some of these make their way to the iPhone? We surely hope so, but for now we have only speculation to go by. As we get closer to the announcement date later this year, we will get a better idea of what Apple has planned for the next-gen iPhone, whatever it is called.