Absolutely Everything You Need to Know About the iPhone 6
Apple has confirmed that it will be holding a media event at the Flint Center for the Performing Arts in Cupertino September 9, 2014 at 10am PST. For those who want to watch this event on the internet, they can watch at: http://www.apple.com/live/. There have been rumors flying about the release of the iPhone 6 at this event.
The iPhone 6 as seen on the left, is expected to come in three different colors: space gray, silver, and gold.
The next rumored change that is flowing across the internet right now, is the size of this new iPhone 6. The size has increased to a 4.7 inch and a 5.5 inch version casing, for its two models. This is an increase from the 4 inch display which is currently on the iPhone 5. The picture below is a graphic depiction. Reuters reported last year:
“Apple is looking at introducing at least two bigger iPhones next year – one with a 4.7-inch screen and one with a 5.7-inch screen – said the sources, including those in the supply chain in Asia. They said suppliers have been approached with plans for the larger screens, but noted it is still unclear whether Apple will actually launch its flagship product in the larger sizes.”
The Wall Street Journal reported:
“In recent months, Apple has asked for prototype smartphone screens larger than 4 inches.”
With the increase in screen size, comes with it an inherent need for an increase in pixel resolution. When the iPhone 5 came out, the pixel resolution went from the 4’s 960×640 display to the larger 1136×640. Ming-Chi Kuo predicted:
“4.7-inch model will come with a 1334×750 Retina display at 326 pixels per inch, while the 5.5″ will see a 1920×1080 screen at 401 ppi.”
According to 9to5Mac:
“The iPhone 5s resolution of 1136 x 640 will be increased to a sharper 1704 x 960 resolution. On the rumored 4.7-inch model, this would result in a display with 416 ppi and the same 16:9 ratio of the iPhone 5/5s/5c, while a 5.5-inch model at the same resolution would carry a density of 356 ppi.”
A new code discovered in the Xcode 6 beta has suggested that at least one of the iPhone 6 devices might have a screen resolution of 1472 x 828.
According to MacRumors, this picture is a 4.7 inch iPhone 6 display under a microscope. This shows us a 13 pixels per mm both horizontally and vertically. This would support the rumor of a 1472 x 828 resolution. Apple blogger John Gruber supports this theory and says the 5.5 inch display:
“The iPhone 6 will have a resolution of 2208 x 1242 with 461 pixels per inch.”
In January of 2014, documents filed with the Foreign-Trade Zone Board indicated that Apple was seeking an “aggressive go-live timeline” for the launch of the sapphire plant in order to begin work on a “critical new sub-component” for Apple devices. Apple has partnered with GT Advanced, and according to MacRumors, have teamed up to produce the Sapphire Crystal display at a much lower cost.
TechCrunch found a company called Twin Creeks, which was purchased last year by GT Advanced. Twin Creeks designed this hydrogen particle accelerator as an alternative to saws which attempt to slice large chunks of sapphire.
How it works:
“A particle accelerator bombards these wafers with hydrogen ions, and with exacting control of the voltage of the accelerator, the hydrogen ions accumulate precisely 20 micrometers from the surface of each wafer. A robotic arm then transports the wafers to a furnace where the ions expand into hydrogen gas, which cause the 20-micrometer-thick layer to shear off.”
“The process, when applied to solar, is then followed up by backing the sheets with flexible metal. The result is a huge reduction in thickness of sheets without the use of saws. This results in a big reduction in costs.”
By doing this, Apple could stretch out the production and cost factors of sapphire enough to support manufacturing full-size display cover sheets, not just small wearable panels, buttons or protective camera covers. This, in turn, could mean sapphire cover sheets that are harder and tougher than standard glass materials on your iPhone years sooner than most analysts have predicted.”
With the machines, the Mesa, Arizona sapphire plant has the ability to produce between 100 and 200 million sapphire displays, enough for its entire line of devices.
Lastly, on the sapphire crystal display, the Wall Street Journal says: “Apple is considering using sapphire screens in more-expensive models of the two new, larger iPhones it plans to debut this fall, if it can get enough of the material, people familiar with the matter say. Some analysts expect Apple to charge more for the phones than previous new models, because of increased component costs.”
The next obvious difference we can see when we look at the pictures, is the rounded edges like the iPad.
The next rumored change is the thickness, or rather, a much thinner phone. This phone is supposed to be 7mm thick. This is further verified by a leaked 7.6mm casing for this phone.
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Apple has signed a deal with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (TSMC) to produce some A-series chips for Apple’s iOS devices starting in 2014. This will be a smaller more efficient chip. The article confirms a report from Digitimes regarding this deal.
“This month, after years of technical delays, Apple finally signed a deal with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. to make some of the chips starting in 2014, according to a TSMC executive. The process had been beset by glitches preventing the chips from meeting Apple’s speed and power standards, TSMC officials said.”
Initial rumors pointed towards a quad-core 64-bit processor for the A8, however, according to MacRumors, Apple will reportedly increase the CPU frequency of its next-generation SoC to 2.0 GHz or higher per core, up from the 1.3 GHz (iPhone 5s and Retina iPad mini) or 1.4 GHz (iPad Air) of the A7 processor. The chip will keep the 64-bit, dual-core architecture of the current generation A7 CPU, but will be manufactured with a 20-nm process instead of the A7’s 28-nm. Cowen & Co. analyst Timothy Arcuri disagrees. He thinks there is a possibility of a more powerful processor for the 5.5 inch display. If the drawing is correct, this would not be the case.
In February of this year, Imagine Technologies announced the extension of the licensing agreement with Apple. Imagination confirmed the deal signed was a multi-year, multi-use agreement that provides Apple with access to the company’s PowerVR graphics and video hardware.
Imagination Technologies Group plc (LSE: IMG, “Imagination”) announces that Apple has extended its multi-year, multi-use license agreement, which gives Apple access to Imagination’s wide range of current and future PowerVR graphics and video IP cores.
Under the terms of the above licensing arrangement, Imagination will receive on-going license fees, and royalty revenues on shipment of SoCs (Systems on Chip) incorporating Imagination’s IP. “
Imagination also recently announced its Series6XT PowerVR GPUs, which will replace the current Series6 graphics used in Apple’s A7 chipset. In detail, the company claims that its newer GPU chips will deliver a 50% benchmark performance increase when compared to similar configurations of previous generation cores.
Atmospheric Pressure Sensor:
According to 9To 5 Mac, the new iPhone could include a new sensor: a barometer. A barometer is a sensor commonly used for measuring altitude and the sensor is already commonly found in Android devices such as the Galaxy Nexus. A barometer sensor could be used by hikers, mountain climbers, bike riders, and enthusiasts who want accurate knowledge into their current altitude. Barometers, via air pressure data, also measure temperature and weather information.
Additionally, with the help of Hamza Sood, there are references to ambient pressure tracking in iOS 8. This plays into determining weather in addition to altitude. For instance, a barometer can analyze air pressure to determine incoming rain or sunshine, and this also could open up a new ecosystem of App Store applications for professionals like pilots and enthusiasts like mountain climbers. This weather functionality could potentially even connect to some sort of crowd-sourced weather project. The barometer will also extensively integrate with iOS 8’s new location tracking capabilities for indoor-mapping and determining what floor of a building a user is on.
Another rumor has it, the iPhone 6 could feature temperature and pressure sensors also said that the device could include a new humidity sensor. It is likely that the new sensors will become part of the iPhone 6’s M8 motion co-processor. The M8 will be a component of the A8 processor, which is reportedly designed for improved efficiency and battery life, not for significant architectural changes like the previous 64-bit A7 system-on-a-chip.
A combination of reporting from MacRumors and Weibo user GeekBar, show pictures of the “barometric sensor” and the alleged schematic of the “Phosphorus” component. “The chip pictured has the part number BMP282. I’m 99.99% sure this is a Bosch barometric pressure sensor, similar to this part BMP280. Variants of one part often have slightly different part numbers- if Apple got Bosch to customize the chip for them with different packaging, or a slightly different measurement range, that would explain the difference in part number.”
Rumors have it there will either be he continued use of the 8-megapixel sensor currently found in the iPhone 5s and the 5c and a separate rumor suggesting a new 13-megapixel sensor from Sony.
This picture is of the rumored Exmor IMX220 features a 13-megapixel, 1/2.3” sensor and can record videos in 1080p.
The iPhone 6 may incorporate Optical Image Stabilization (OIS). Apple has reportedly been working on striking a deal with InvenSense, a company that manufacturers an OIS gyroscope. Optical Image Stabilization uses motion-tracking in order to compensate for device shakiness, allowing for sharper photos and videos. The picture: Optical image stabilization vs. no optical image stabilization. Comparison image courtesy of Electronics 360. Most can agree, the OIS will be offered in the larger 5.5 inch option of the phone.
Touch ID Fingerprint Sensor:
In February of this year, Digitimes reported:
“Apple previously decided to have TSMC produce fingerprint sensors for its next-generation iPhone at the foundry’s 12-inch facilities using a 65nm process, the sources noted. However, acknowledging risks associated with 12-inch WLP technologies, Apple has finally chosen TSMC’s 8-inch processing which enables mature yield rates for WLP to produce the fingerprint sensors, the sources said.”
Apple’s next-generation iPhone may also support the 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard that first began appearing in Apple products in 2013. 802.11ac, or “Gigabit” Wi-Fi, offers speeds up to three times as fast as existing 802.11n wireless networks, reaching speeds over 1 Gigabit per second.
“In addition, Broadcom’s Transmit Beamforming (TxBF) technology further improves rate over range performance in congested environments for data-intense applications. Photo and video uploads to social networking sites, for example, will be twice as fast in crowded sporting events or concert venues.”
While 802.11ac technology was not quite ready for the iPhone 5s and the iPhone 5c, Apple Wi-Fi chip supplier Broadcom has recently come out with a new 802.11ac Wi-Fi chip for smartphones.
“The company’s next iPhone will feature its own payment platform, sources familiar with the matter told WIRED. In fact, that platform will be one of the hallmark features of the device when it’s unveiled on September 9. We’re told the solution will involve NFC.”
Luxury modified iPhone vendor Field & Volk posted on Instagram, claimed parts from the iPhone 6, was able to get its hands on a complete logic board for the device. Apple Senior Vice President Phil Schiller was quoted as saying:
It’s not clear that NFC is the solution to any current problem, Schiller said. “Passbook does the kinds of things customers need today.”
According to Morgan Stanley, Apple is choosing NFC as the key technology for its mobile payments system, with semiconductor company NXP likely providing the necessary wireless hardware. NXP has an existing relationship with Apple, supplying the M7 motion-sensing chip found in the iPhone 5s.
“NXP is well positioned to participate in Apple’s mobile payments ecosystem. The company signed a licensing agreement with a customer in Q4’13, who we believe is Apple, related to its emerging ID business. A recent patent filing by Apple revealed potential use of NFC and secure element, which we think could be embedded. NXP has also accelerated R&D spend to support a new program related to the IP deal, with revenue expected in 2H, lining up well with the launch of iPhone 6. We see this potentially adding $250mn in sales and EPS of $0.25 in 2015.”
“Apple has reached an agreement with American Express to work together on its new iPhone payments system, according to sources familiar with the talks. American Express is one of several partners Apple will need to sign up before it can launch its new payments plan, which sources say it plans to announce at its September 9 product event.”
“Apple Inc. (AAPL) plans to turn its next iPhone into a mobile wallet through a partnership with major payment networks, banks and retailers, according a person familiar with the situation.
The agreement includes Visa Inc. (V), MasterCard Inc. (MA) and American Express Co. (AXP) and will be unveiled on Sept. 9 along with the next iPhone, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the talks are private.”
According to Chinese media reports (via GforGames), Apple’s next-generation iPhone may disappoint with a lower-than-expected battery capacity that will provide only a slight boost from the battery used in the iPhone 5s. The 4.7-inch version of the iPhone 6 will ship with a battery between 1,800 and 1,900 mAh, while the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 will include a 2,500 mAh battery. Though larger than the 1,560 mAh battery in the iPhone 5s, these modest capacity increases place Apple behind competitors with similar sized handsets, and leave some wondering if Apple is keeping the battery too small in order to design an ultra-slim device.
This is the second reported upgrade to the battery option: Nowhereelse.fr [Google Translate]: claim to show a 2,915 mAh capacity battery from the 5.5-inch model of the iPhone 6. If legitimate, this 2,915 mAh capacity is a significant jump from the 1,560 mAh battery included in the iPhone 5s and the 1,810 mAh rumored for the 4.7-inch iPhone 6. It also places the iPhone 6 on par with other larger-sized phones such as the Samsung Galaxy S5 and the HTC One M8. A significantly larger battery for the 5.5-inch model compared to the 4.7-inch would be possible due to the much larger volume available inside the device with the larger display. That larger display may also arrive at much higher pixel count which would necessitate a larger battery to support it.
Feld & Volk [Instagram page], posted this photograph of the MDM9625. It is a Category 4 LTE modem, supporting speeds of up to 150 Mbps, compared to the MDM9615 Category 3 modem at up to 100 Mbps, which is found in the iPhone 5s, 5c, and 5.
Part of the speed benefits of the MDM9625 and new LTE-Advanced technology compared to earlier generations of modems comes from the use of carrier aggregation to combine channels for greater bandwidth. With the MDM9625, this carrier aggregation requires a pair of companion chips, a WTR1625L transceiver chip and a WFR1620 chip. These chips appear to be located on the opposite of the iPhone 6 logic board from the LTE modem itself.
An increase in storage capacity to 128 GB has been rumored for the iPhone 6, but many of the rumors have suggested the storage increase may be limited to the larger 5.5-inch iPhone. Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo points towards an increase in capacity for both phones, however, with Apple possibly offering the both models of the iPhone 6 in 16, 32, 64, and 128 GB options.
The New York Times reports the iPhone 6 will support an optional “one-handed mode” to make it easier for users on the larger-screened devices.
“To deal with concerns that a bigger phone will make typing with one hand difficult (the current iPhone has a 4-inch screen), some changes to the design of the iPhones’ software interface will allow people to type or use apps with just one hand — there will be a one-handed mode that can be switched on and off, two employees said.”
Multiple rumors have indicated that Apple might possibly raise the price of the larger 5.5-inch iPhone 6 by $100, making it $299 with a carrier contract, while selling the smaller 4.7-inch iPhone for the standard $199 on contract.
Kevin Barnard | News Cult