iPhone 6 rumours

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The iPhone 6 could look like this
With all of the big Android phones already released for the year, all eyes are turning to Apple to see what it can do with its next smartphone.

We’re still a way away from the launch of what might well be called the ‘iPhone 6’, but David Ludlow, editor of Expert Reviews, takes a look at all of the current rumours to see what we might get from the new model.

Release date
Apple always remains tight-lipped about this kind of thing, so all release dates are purely speculation. That doesn’t mean that we can’t use some hints and past form to take a more educated guess at what the company has planned, though.

Typically speaking, Apple follows yearly release patterns. The iPhone 5S came out in September 2013, so it would make sense for the iPhone 6 to come out around the same time. Supply chain sources in Taiwan have said that the iPhone 6 will come out a little earlier in August, but there’s conflicting information about this. Our money is on September, with August an outside possibility, but we wouldn’t expect to see the phone any earlier.
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Potential screen sizes
Screen size
One of the most intriguing rumours that refuses to go away is that Apple is planning to launch not one, but two new iPhones. We’re likely to see a 4.7-inch version and a larger 5.5-inch ‘phablet’.

It’s generally thought that the 4.7-inch version will be a direct replacement for the 4-inch iPhone 5S, with Apple finally increasing the screen size to compete with Android smartphones. The 5.5-inch version may not be called the iPhone 6, but rather the ‘iPhone Air’, after the pattern set by the iPad Air and MacBook Air. Leaked photos, which always have to be taken with a liberal dose of salt, seem to confirm the larger screens. Images, apparently taken in the factory, show a bigger front panel.

Larger screens means more resolution, but it’s not exactly clear what Apple will go with. The best information at the moment suggests that the 4.7-inch phone will have a resolution of 1334 x 760 and the 5.5-inch phone will have a 1920 x 1080 resolution. Don’t be surprised if Apple pulls something completely different out of the bag, though — it has a track record of surprising everyone with resolutions and screen quality.
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Will it take design cues from the iPod Nano?
Typically, Apple uses the same design for two iterations of a product before moving to something completely new. We’ve had the iPhone 5 and iPhone 5S using the same design, so it’s time for something different.

Currently, the thinking is that Apple will take design cues from the iPod nano and iPhone 5C, creating a curvier, more rounded phone. Rather than using the plastic body of the iPhone 5C, the iPhone 6 will have a premium metal body.
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Will it be constructed from Sapphire Glass?
Although the previous phones have been made from metal and Gorilla Glass, many people have ended up with cracked screens. For the iPhone 6, Apple could be thinking of making something tougher altogether — sapphire glass.

A man-made material, Sapphire Glass has a rating of 9 on the Mohs scale of hardness — that’s just behind diamond. To make all of this possible, Apple has dropped a massive $578m on GT Advanced Technologies, a sapphire glass manufacturer. From the looks of things, the iPhone 6 is going to be both beautiful and extremely hardwearing.
With the camera being one of the most important parts of any smartphone, Apple’s going to dramatically boost the quality of the model in the iPhone 6. Most likely, Apple will boost resolution from the current 8-megapixels to 13-megapixels, or even higher.

It’s suggested that Apple will also produce a camera that produces shots that are refocus-able after they’ve been taken. This technology appeared in the Lytro Lightfield camera first, but we’ve seen a similar take with the HTC One (M8). To top it all off, Apple is said to be looking at optical image stabilisation to reduce blur from shaky hand-held shots.
Apple set the mobile world alight when it unveiled the A7 64-bit mobile processor in the iPhone 5S. The company is well known for making some of the fastest handsets available and we don’t see this slowing down for the iPhone 6. Expect to see an iterative improvement with the A8, providing both more speed and better graphics performance.
Typically, Apple keeps the price of its new products the same as last year’s. This would mean that the iPhone 6 would start (SIM-free) at £549 for the 4.7-inch version. However, rumours are circulating that the extra cost of materials will see a slight price rise for the 4.7-inch phone. We can expect that the larger 5.5-inch phablet will cost a little more. Unfortunately, until we get to the actual launch, we won’t know for certain.
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