IN DEPTH Images plus analysis paint a pretty picture
It’s hard to imagine there’ll be too many surprises when Apple finally announces the iPhone 6, given the volume of leaks and rumours surrounding the device.
In fact it’s easily been the leakiest iPhone launch thus far, be it full pictures or just small components revealing another piece of the final puzzle.
Through dummy models and component leaks we’ve seen the new curved design, slimmer build and a larger screen in two sizes that will almost certainly be key elements of the new iPhone.
We’ve also heard other whispers, pointing to a new processor, a larger battery, camera improvements, a higher resolution display and even more outlandish rumours suggesting the possibility of a sapphire screen.
All of this adds up to one of the most exciting iPhone launches ever if it all appears as the leaks say. But we know you lot are a discerning bunch, and will need more convincing than that.
So, ladies and gentleman, may we present for you our gallery of the top spy images of the iPhone 6 from the last few months.
One of the most widespread rumours about the iPhone 6 is that it might come in not one, but two sizes, specifically 4.7-inches and 5.5-inches.
There’s a clear logic to giving customers more choice in screen size; if you currently want an iPhone there’s only one size point available (we’ll forget about the iPhone 4S for now) but as the Android brigade has proven, we don’t live in a one size fits all world.
The image above, revealed by Sonny Dickson, shows dummy units of the iPhone 6 in both sizes and as you can see there’s a real, substantial difference between the two, with each likely to appeal to different users.
The 4.7 inch model is more pocket sized and would be easier to use one-handed, while the 5.5 inch handset is likely to provide a more immersive experience.
Bigger than ever
While Apple is seemingly giving users some choice when it comes to iPhone size, even the smaller of the two rumoured upcoming models is substantially bigger than the iPhone 5S, as you can see in this image from macitynet.it, where a 4.7 inch dummy unit is put up against its predecessor.
That makes some sense too, given the upward trend in larger smartphone sizes. Indeed a courtroom slide revealed that Apple believes ‘consumers want what we don’t have’, by which it was referring to large smartphones, so it was surely only a matter of time before Apple would embrace that section of the market.
Smaller than the competition
While the rumoured 4.7 inch model is a significant increase in size over the 4.0 inch iPhone 5S, it’s still a little smaller than the 5.1 inch Samsung Galaxy S5 and the 5.0 inch HTC One M8, as shown in the above comparison courtesy of 9to5Mac.
That’s arguably good news to many iPhone lover, as one of the appealing things about the iPhone is that it’s not enormous and fits more comfortably in the pocket. So if you’re one who baulks at the size of Android flagship, you can still turn to Apple it seems.
Of course for those who’ve been longing for a truly enormous iPhone there’s always the rumoured 5.5-inch model, which is verging on phablet territory, as you can see in the image above from Jimmy Lin’s Weibo page.
This threatens to be the biggest change Apple has ever made to the iPhone so it’s understandable that the company isn’t making this its only model.
In an effort to differentiate it from the 4.7-inch handset it’s rumoured that the bigger one will be called the ‘iPhone Air’, which also reflects the fact that it supposedly comes in at a super-slim 6.7mm thick according to leaked schematics, compared to the 7mm thickness of the smaller variant.
The larger model may be different in other ways too, with the possibility of a larger battery and optical image stabilisation on offer thanks to the greater footprint.
As well as being larger it’s thought that both models of the iPhone 6 may have a new, curvier design, as shown in the dummy above, leaked by Sonny Dickson.
The curved edges are more reminiscent of the iPad Air than the iPhone 5S and it’s a change that we reckon could look pretty good, not to mention the fact that Apple would be wise to alter the design from time to time to keep it fresh.
The image above also highlights an ever so slight curve in the screen, which could allow it to arc seamlessly into the chassis.
Speaking of the screen, the increased size, visible again in this image fromifanr.com, is likely to see it get a resolution boost.
There are conflicting rumours as to exactly what resolution we’ll see, but the most convincing is probably a 1704 x 960 screen on both handsets, which would give the 4.7 inch model a pixel density of 416 ppi and the 5.5 inch phone a pixel density of 355 ppi, both of which are higher than the 326 ppi iPhone 5S.
It’s also been reported that the phone will have a 2560 x 1600 QHD display, but we’re not so convinced by that, as Apple has long been of the belief that such high resolutions produce imperceptible visual differences.
As strong as sapphire
It’s been rumoured that the iPhone 6 will have a sapphire display, and the image above, from nowhereelse.fr, supposedly shows the glass panel from an iPhone 6.
It doesn’t prove that it’s made of sapphire but it’s clearly somewhat flexible, while current versions of Gorilla Glass are rather rigid, suggesting that Apple has some sort of alternative material up its sleeve.
If the iPhone 6 does have a sapphire screen it’s likely to be a lot stronger than most smartphones, though other reports suggest that it may not be made of sapphire after all.
We’re inclined to think it was an experiment that didn’t make it to final production – but here’s hoping we’re wrong and Apple has taken a leap forward in terms of smartphone protection.
Under that metal exterior, revealed here by MacRumors, there’s likely to be a whole lot of new tech. It’s been reported that it might come with up to128GB of storage, though KGI analyst Ming Chi Kuo reckons that it may only have 1GB of RAM.
It’s almost a given that the iPhone 6 will come with a new A8 processor, but it’s rumoured that the focus this time will be on efficiency rather than power.
While it should be more powerful, with rumours pointing to speeds of 2GHz, it will hopefully have far better battery life too. That’s a good thing in our books, as battery life is arguably the biggest problem currently faced by smartphones, and the iPhone suffers in this department more than most.
Speaking of batteries, the image above, from nowhereelse.fr, supposedly shows the power pack that will keep the iPhone 6 going.
According to Chinese site IT168 the 4.7 inch iPhone may have an 1800 mAh unit, while the 5.5 inch handset could have a 2500 mAh battery, both of which are big increases on the 1560 mAh iPhone 5S.
Along with rumours of a more efficient processor, this new power pack could lead to vastly improved battery life; however the handsets will also probably be bigger and more powerful, so it remains to be seen whether Apple will actually manage to boost their endurance.
Recent iPhone models have had pretty capable cameras but Apple could hardly release a new one without making some improvements, especially as the likes of Sony and Nokia are bringing megapixel counts to new heights and LG is even adding lasers to autofocus with the LG G3.
The dummy photo of the casing, above and shared by 9to5Mac, doesn’t reveal much about the camera, but there’ve been rumours of increased megapixel counts in the iPhone 6, though we’re more inclined to believe reports that Apple will keep it at 8 megapixels.
That needn’t be bad news, as there are also rumours that the new handset will have a larger sensor and bigger pixels to let more light in and that the 5.5 inch model will even have optical image stabilisation, so even with the same number of megapixels the iPhone 6 could be substantially more adept at taking photos.
A clear picture
With all the iPhone 6 dummys, and even the occasional image supposedly showing the finished handset, such as the one above from TMZ, along with all the other leaks we’ve highlighted, it seems like we now have a fairly complete picture of what to expect.
It seems Apple has reacted well to changes in the market by delivering a larger handset, as well as refreshing the design and making expected improvements to the specs.
It’s looking like the iPhone 6 could be a big change, especially for a company that’s typically as conservative as Apple. There’s a risk that the changes, particularly when it comes to size, could alienate existing users, but by giving would-be buyers a choice of handsets we reckon that Apple will win over more customers than it loses.
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