iPhone 6 Release Date, Specs and Features: Apple To Finally Adopt NFC?

An archive of what we've heard about Apple’s next-generation iPhone 6, including specs, release date rumours, and features

Apple launched two handsets in 2013; the flagship iPhone 5s and “cheaper” iPhone 5c. And this seems likely to be the case in 2014 with the iPhone 6. Multiple sources point to two handsets, although how they will differ – it could be display size, specs, price or all three – remains to be seen. Plenty of sources within Apple’s supply chain, however, reckon it’ll be to do with the display; one will apparently have a 4.7in setup, while the other will be a larger, phablet-sized device, potentially with a 5.5in screen.
When it comes to design, expect practically non-existent bezels, premium build materials and an ultra thin chassis; we could be looking at the thinnest handsets ever brought to market. And with good reason, too: Apple needs to make the display bigger without making the handset ungainly for hardcore 4in iPhone lovers. To do this it’s going to have to do introduce some pretty slick design features.
Both handsets will feature TouchID, an A8 processor and are likely to stick with 1GB of RAM. With storage you’re looking at the usual flavours: 16, 32 and 64GB. Although don’t be surprised if Apple outed a 128GB version, too. iOS 8 will, of course, be the platform of choice and current intelligence suggests this iteration of Apple’s mobile platform will focus on payments via TouchID and health and fitness.
Whether Apple will touch the camera remains to be seen. The iPhone 5s’ setup was one of the best point-and-shooters of 2013/14, although there are a few areas where it could be improved – things like OIS, 1080p Slow Motion Video would certainly be nice additions, and a jump from an 8MP sensor to 12MP setup would certainly make sense, too.
Read on for a more in-depth look at the iPhone 6, its specs, hardware and features.

iPhone 6 Design and Display

The display size is such a crucial point on the subject of what the next iPhone will look like, and at the moment there’s no clear cut conclusion on how big it will actually be. Initially there was a lot of back-and-forth between the idea of smaller iPhone 6, either at the same 4-inch size as the current model, or slightly larger – between 4.5-inches and 4.7-inches. More recently there's been talk of an even-larger-iPhone too; one with a phablet-sized display of around 5.5in. And this means we'll likely see two (or more) handsets launched later on this year. 
Chinese analyst Sun Chyang Xu reported the iPhone 6 would arrive both as both a 4.7-inch model and a 5.7-inch version. The Wall Street Journal has also similarly reported that there will be a 4.5-inch model and a larger edition of an unspecified size. Reports from China towards the end of 2013, which cited Foxconn insiders, fit in with Cyang Xu’s predictions of both 4.7-inch and 5.7-inch versions.
South Korean investment firm KDB Daewoo Securities, a company which allegedly has a good track record for this kind of thing, claimed there will be a standard iPhone 6 model with a 4.7-inch or 4.8-inch display at a full HD 1920x1080 pixel resolution, and a larger phablet variant with a 5.5-inch display using a 2K QHD resolution at 2272x1280 pixels. Another report out of China claims to have heard from insider informants that the iPhone 6 will arrive in both 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch variants.
"A report from Taiwan's Commercial Times on Tuesday claims Pegatron's 15 percent share of upcoming 4.7-inch iPhone 6 orders is in addition to continued manufacture of current models like iPhone 5C and 4S," reports Apple Insider. "Overall, the firm will be responsible for manufacturing 50 million iPhones in 2014, up from 35 million last year. The 40 percent bump in production share is likely attributed to iPhone 6 ramp up in the second and third quarters ahead of a debut in September."
Apple will apparently split the production of its next-generation iPhone handsets; Pegratron is suspected to be taking a 15% stake, while Foxconn is believed to be taking the lion's share with 85%. 

Larger iPhone 6 Display Will Get Resolution Boost

Rumours about Apple's larger display for the iPhone 6, and suggestions it'll use Sapphire Glass, are fairly pervasive at this stage. Although nothing is concrete, the general consensus is for a 4.7-inch display, but what hasn't really been addressed much is the resolution.
According to a report from 9to5Mac, analysts have speculated Apple could keep the larger screen at the same 1136x640 pixel resolution seen on the previous iPhone. The main motive for such a move would be to precent app developers from having to re-work their apps for a higher resolution as existing apps would work as they do already.
The only hitch there is that the resolution would fall below 300 pixels-per-inch, the holy grail for "Retina" which has been historically enshrined by comments from the late Steve Jobs. Although, of course, many outside Apple dispute his apparently unmoveable stance.
But 9to5Mac goes on to report that Apple may not be making such a compromise after all. The word comes via the publication's sources, unnamed "people briefed on the specifications of the new device," and "sources familiar with the testing of at least one next-generation iPhone model". According to these sources, the iPhone 6 will pack a 1704x960 pixel resolution at 416 pixels-per-inch, with the same 16:9 ratio as the current model - this ratio also sits with previous leaks.
In addition, it's believed the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 will follow suit with a lower pixel density of 356 pixels-per-inch, and that to accomodate these changed display specs the iOS interface and its apps will become "slightly larger and sharper". Sources also suggest Apple is at work optimising its software for the larger screen real estate and changed display specifics.

Third iPhone 6 Display Maker Found

Apple is splitting production of its next generation displays between three different companies. We already knew Japan Display Corporation and LG Display were getting a piece of the action but now we know Innolux is being trusted with production this time too.
Innolux has beaten some serious competitors to the deal including Samsung and Sharp. Rumour is Apple thought Samsung was too much of a direct competitor to the company to become a display manufacturer.
Sharp on the other hand didn’t do particularly well with its sample batch and some technical issues meant it missed out.
Innolux isn’t without its experience though, the company has made display panels since 2003 and has become one of the largest manufacturers of the technology in the world supplying for TVs, monitors and mobile devices.

Apple iPhone 6 Dummy Measured, Dimensions Arrive

A Romanian website managed to get its hands all over an iPhone 6 dummy and measured it up using an ultra efficient digital sliding gauge. This way we can finally find out the full dimensions of the handset.
According to the dummy iphone-store.ro had the dimensions are 137.5 x 67 x 7mm. It’s a tad longer in length and width but slimmer than the iPhone 5s which was 123.8 x 58.6 x 7.6 mm.
If this dummy turns out to be the real handset specs we know it’ll have a 4.7-inch screen which has been rumoured for quite a while now. This exact unit had a resolution of 960 x 1704, an impressive 50% more pixels than the current flagship iPhone 5s.
It looks like iOS users will be in with a lovely new display on the iPhone 6 as long as they’re happy to have the larger handset.
The photographed version is the white handset with a Gold home key accent. It looks like there will also be grey, black and gold versions of the handset as well though.

Bigger Display. More Users. More $$$$

4in displays are so 2010. You know that. I know that. And now, Apple knows it, too. The iPhone 6 – according to literally EVERYBODY – will be the first handset of its kind to break the 4in model and embrace larger screen technology. And this is good news. Very good news, indeed. And not just for you and me, either. No, apparently an iPhone with a larger display makes quite a bit of business sense for Apple, too, as US-based Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty recently pointed out. According to Huberty a larger iPhone could translate into an additional 15 million sales for Apple, and the bulk of which will be made up of Android users switching to iOS. 
The analyst doesn’t see existing iPhone users being fazed by a larger display, either: “Current iPhone owners value the software, brand, ability to synchronize to other Apple devices, and the App Store’s quality and size more than the average user, which drives Apple’s high loyalty rating.” 
“The top criteria across all brands are longer battery life, software / operating system, and lower price, though current Apple users think price is of lesser importance.”
And now, as is usually the case in the run up to a big iPhone launch, we have lots of very impressive, computer-designed concept renders of the iPhone 6 to look at before the real thing arrives later this year. If you follow iPhone launches, one name you’ll probably be familiar with isMartin Hajek – and if you’re not, well, you can check out some of his work below and see why he's so well known:

Impressive stuff, no? Hajek based his design on all the most up-to-date rumours surrounding the iPhone; things like a bigger display, updated chassis, and a completely new design language. Hajek’s been pretty close in his estimations in the past, too. Lets hope Apple’s upcoming handset shares at least a few similarities with these gorgeous renders.  

iPhone 6: As Thin As Fifth-Gen iPod? 

Plenty of reports, leaks and speculation claim the iPhone 6 will be ultra-slim. But how slim is ultra-slim? One school of thought reckons the iPhone 6 will be about 6mm thick and, therefore, very similar to Apple’s current fifth-gen iPod. Adding further fuel to the it’s-gonna-be-6mm-thick fire is an alleged iPhone 6 protective case that is now doing the rounds. What’s interesting about this case is that the fifth-gen iPod fits perfectly inside it. Unbox Therapy has done a whole video explaining why this is significant, which you can watch below.
If this is indeed a case for Apple’s next-generation handset then what we’re looking at is a ridiculously thin smartphone; no one else has done anything this skinny before. No one! And if this is true – which it’s starting to seem like – then Apple could have quite the USP on its hands: an iPhone with a bigger display that’s lighter than the iPhone 5s. The mind boggles. 

33% Thinner, Too? 

Then there's these rather dubious-looking renders, which recently popped up online and have since been published by Apple Insider. According to the report the handset in the render, though dubious, packs in everything we’ve come to expect from the upcoming iPhone; stuff like rounded corners, power button on the side, slimmer chassis.  

“A z-height of 6 millimeters would make the handset 1.6 millimeters slimmer than the already-svelte iPhone 5 series,” said the report, “an impressive accomplishment. The current-generation iPod touch slots in at 6.1 millimeters thick.”
A video has also appeared on YouTube, see below, taken from the Hong Kong Electronics Fair 2014 which shows off the slab of metal - it's in the same shape and size as the iPhone 6. If this turns out to be true, it looks like Apple will be taking design cues from the iPad Air and iPad Mini with the rounded corners. Watch the video below, we warn you it’s not the most exciting example of the iPhone 6 out there.