iPhone 6 release date, news and rumors
28th Aug 2014 | 17:34
Everything we've heard so far about the new iPhone 6
iPhone 6 release date and price
Latest update:The time is nigh, people. The invites are out. Apple is hosting an event in Cupertino on September 9, with the tagline 'Wish we could say more'.
The new iPhone could be one of the most pivotal devices in the Cupertino brand's history - with the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C simple updates to previous models, there's a lot of pressure heaped on the iPhone 6.
We've already been given a small sneak peak at what Apple may have in store for us on the iPhone 6 thanks to the announcement of iOS 8 at WWDC - from a bigger screen and camera to health monitoring and more storage.
One thing is for sure, with the Samsung Galaxy S5, LG G3, Sony Xperia Z2 and HTC One M8 now out in wild, Apple needs to be on its game with the new iPhone - and many believe a bigger screen is simply a must.
Cut to the chase
- What is it? A major revision of the iPhone including entire design
- When is it out? September 9 for the launch, September 19 on sale.
- What will it cost? Prices are likely to start at around £550 / $650 / AU$869
iPhone 6 release date
The iPhone 6 release date is virtually certain for September, which would fit in nicely with the rollout of the newly announced iOS 8.
More exactly, the iPhone 6 launch date momentum has been set for September 9, an idle Tuesday at the start of the month.
The standard launch cycle will be likely followed, which means the Tuesday announcement will be followed by an on-sale release date 10 days later - which means Friday September 19 will be the first time you'll be able to get your mitts on it.
It's looking increasingly likely that we'll see more than one Apple handset this year, with a 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and a 5.5-inch phablet - possibly dubbed the iPhone Air or the iPhone 6L - coming alongside. The latter was rumored to be pushed until later in the year, thanks to problems with the battery and production, but recent updates seem to say these have been solved.
TechRadar's sources have also intimated that both models will launch together, so we're pretty confident that will happen.
On top of that, the iWatch now looks very likely to appear at the same time, with re/code stating that Apple's wearable will appear next to one or two phones in September, rather than later in the year (or possibly in 2015) as previously predicted.
The launch could still be split - it makes sense to launch an iPhone Air and iWatch together at an event - but that would be too many in the space of a few months, so an iPhone 6 and iPhone Air dual announcement makes sense.
And it sounds like production is about to start, as the Economic Daily News reports that the 4.7-inch has already gone into production, while the 5.5-inch handset will enter production soon too - so it could be the release dates for the two models are split.
After trawling through all the iPhone 6 rumors we kicked our render machine into gear and came up with a concept of what we'd like Apple's eighth generation flagship smartphone to look like.
Check out our creation in the video below.
iPhone 6 price
There's one thing we can be sure about when it comes to the iPhone 6 - it won't be cheap.
Apple's legacy is a long line of premium devices sporting premium price tags and you can expect that trend to continue with the iPhone 6.
One analyst even goes as far as predicting that Apple will hike up the price of the iPhone 6, possibly by as much as $100 (around £60, AU$110). With a larger screen, new glass covering the front and possibly even a new, more impressive, material used in construction, we can see the price being hiked.
We'd be surprised is the mooted 4.7-inch iPhone 6 would get such a massive price bump, as it needs to stay competitive, but the hike does make sense if Apple launches a larger, phablet sized iPhone.
We have also got wind of possible pricing for the 4.7-inch model and it's reportedly starting at around £500 for a 32GB handset, which is around the same as a 16GB iPhone 5S, so if anything it might be a little cheaper, but that still leaves the 5.5-inch model open to being more expensive.
Indeed the latest pricing rumors echo the £500/$858/AU$915 pricing for the 4.7-inch model, but add that the 5.5-inch handset is likely to start at around £563/$966/AU$1030 and those are based on Chinese prices, so won't account for local taxes.
Interestingly the same sources claim that the 5.5-inch handset will be called the 'iPhone Air'.
iPhone 6 design
Update: The most recent leak surrounding the look of the iPhone has been given to us by network China Telecom, which seems to have shown off the first press shot of the new iPhone.
The leak could be hoaxed, as to accidentally publish such an important picture on social networks seems unlikely.
That is, until you see that the same colours are mirrored precisely in leaked pictures of the forthcoming iPhone SIM trays from NowhereElse.fr, which has good form in leaking new iPhone components.
The home buttons also make an appearance, and a side pic of the tray 'confirms' the curved edge of the new iPhone.
We could see up to three models coming on September 9: an iPhone 5C sequel, an iPhone 6 and an iPhone Air, with the latter being a larger size to compete with the likes of the Galaxy Note 3, as phablets are becoming hugely popular in areas like Asia.
One thing you probably can expect is more premium metal to come your way with the iPhone 6, and Apple patents for liquidmetal 3D printing suggest there may be a new way to form the sultry chassis on the new iPhone.
Writing in early January 2014, MacRumors quotes a batch of liquidmetal patents reportedly filed by Apple employees.
This has been doing the rounds for a while though, and apparently it's a tricky material to work with.
Liquidmetal or not, that chassis could well be the thinnest yet - with word that Apple will slim down the svelte 7.6mm 5S body for the iPhone 6, and if leaked images of the phone's case are legit the handset may well be shockingly slender.
These shots are similar to another picture claiming to show the internal body work of the iPhone 6, where the LCD display would sit plus further snaps of the rear picked up by MacRumors - adding yet more detail to the collection of leaks we're gathering.
Newer, more detailed images give us an even clearer look at its slimline shell, as well as showing it in a fancy new dark grey colour, which may be one of the colour options come release.
Another thing to take away from this image is that the Apple logo is a cut-out. There are several possible reasons for that, and given Apple is looking to add NFC into the phone for the first time then having a metal free section makes perfect sense, backed up by more recent leaks with the new logo cut-out.
We've since seen images of a thin plastic Apple logo in the slot, thin enough that light could shine through it, leading to suggestions that it will light up, possibly to alert users to notifications.
With talk of larger screens, we can expect the body of the iPhone 6 to grow and leaked schematic designs claim the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 will be 66mm wide and 7.0mm thick (the 5S is 58.6 x 7.6mm).
The larger 5.5-inch handset is said to be 77mm in width and a super svelte 6.7mm in depth - the Galaxy Note 3 is 79.2 x 8.3mm. An image of the 5.5-inch chassis has popped up on BestTechInfo and it certainly looks slim.
The 5.5 inch model is rumored to be called the iPhone Air, so it makes sense that it would be exceedingly slim.
These super slim dimensions have been given a little more firepower as we've now had multiple sources claiming to have case designs and schematics for the new iPhone 6, showing off designs similar to the iPad Air and Mini 2.
The newer pic shows the iPhone 6 actually running iOS 8 - it's not clear if this is a final version, but it is swiped from Foxconn apparently.
But how will the iPhone actually look? Well it's going to be rounded, larger (of course) and with lines running over the top and bottom sections, presumably to improve reception and overall connectivity, as we saw in early assembly snaps.
Aside from the change in size and shape the other visible difference is that the power button has been moved to the side of the handset, as it's going to be larger and hitting the top will be tricky. The rear of the phone will have a slightly protruding camera as Apple tries to keep things thin but pack in slightly more camera tech to keep pictures looking great.
This is seen in both the TMZ leak (as a final unit, apparently) and in components found by nowhereelse.fr. The two tone flash, which gives great colour but was an odd oblong last time out, has been made circular to fit with the more rounded finish of the phone, it seems.
A set of dummy images from 9to5Mac, show the new handset in gold, silver and grey and they more or less match the previous ones, with a rounded design and a power button on the side.
One of the big clues about how the new iPhone 6 will look is from Taiwanese actor Jimmy Lin, who posted a photo of himself holding an iPhone 5S and what he claims is an iPhone 6.
Why is this significant? Well Lin posted pictures of the iPhone 5C ahead of its launch last year, so it looks like he may have repeated the trick in 2014.
Mr Lin may also have the larger 5.5-inch iPhone 6 (or at least a mockup unit) in his possession, after he posted another photo online which a big looking iPhone sitting on a work bench.
The same design keeps popping up in the leaked photo, and surely this isn't coincidence as even more images along the same design lines pop up from Sonny Dickson - again claiming to show the iPhone 6.
Sonny Dickson has gone one further though after getting his hands on mockups of two sizes of iPhone 6 handsets, giving the clearest look yet at the probably final designs.
Apparently the iPhone 6 has also been snapped alongside the iPad Air 2 and the iPad Mini 3, all three of which are showing off their TouchID sensors as well.
Feld & Volk has posted images to Instagram, showing what's supposedly a fully assembled handset and it matches everything else we've seen so far, though even if it is genuine it's likely that Apple with give it a touch of polish before the final launch.
A larger body housing a larger screen would mean there would be some additional space which a larger power pack could accommodate, and we've even spotted an image claiming to show the iPhone 6 battery on the production line.
In other areas, patents show that Apple has been thinking about magical morphing technology that can hide sensors and even cameras. Will it make it into the iPhone 6? Probably not.
And one final nugget to chew over before you head into the wonderful world of whether the iPhone 6 will have a sapphire screen: will Apple be launching a more premium version later in the year with that harder, less breakable sapphire display to satisfy those that want the best iPhone whatever the cost?
Seems unlikely to us, but Wall Street Journal reckons it's highly possible.
iPhone 6 screen, healthcare and power
One thing we'd be the house on: there iPhone 6 will have a larger (probably 4.7-inch) screen along with a 5.5-inch iPhone Air, as mentioned on the previous page - with both being a lot thinner thanks to big improvements in LED backlight technology to reduce the thickness.
Apple has even acknowledged that consumers want a larger screen after an internal slide was revealed in its court battle with Samsung entitled "Consumers want what we don't have."
While we'd love to see the Quad HD resolution adorn the iPhone 6, the fact it's such a great leap from the sub-720p Retina display on the 5S and 5C makes it seem very unlikely.
More recent resolution rumors come from insiders who claim that Apple has been testing a pixel-tripling display which would have a resolution of 1704 x 960.
That's not quite full HD, but it would allow the phone to retain the iPhone 5S's 16x9 aspect ratio and give a 4.7 inch iPhone a pixel density of 416 pixels per inch and the rumored 5.5 inch phablet a density of 355 pixels per inch, both of which trump the 326ppi screen of the iPhone 5S.
Based on information found in the iOS springboard it's also possible that the next iPhone will have either an 828 x 1472 or a 1242 x 2208 resolution according to 9to5Mac.
There is a chance that our eyeballs could be in for a real treat though, with Apple employees apparently quoted in Hong Kong saying that the iPhone 6 will sport a QHD resolution (2560 x 1600) - the same as you find on the LG G3. That would be impressive, although rather unlikely if you ask us. All the rumors point to an increase in resolution though, so even if it's not quite that good the iPhone 6 screen is likely to impress.
There have been more iPhone 6 leaks than ever before this year - it seems Apple is unable to keep a lid on production any more.
A leak from ifanr.com gives us a very clear look at what's believed to be a final or near final version of the iPhone 6 front panel.
It's clear from the images that we are looking at a screen of around 4.7 inches as has long been rumored and it also has slightly rounded edges, which may allow it to arc seamlessly into the chassis. The source of the leak also claims that the display might be made out of sapphire.
The front panel image slips keep happening, with a series of shots appearing on MyDrivers, again showing very similar looking components against the smaller frames of the iPhone 5.
A shot of one of the panels being held in the hand shows the extra girth the iPhone 6 could be carrying, and you may need to do some hand exercises to ready your palms for a larger iPhone.
An unbreakable display
Here's an interesting one: Apple looks like it's signed a big deal to use a lot of sapphire glass in its phones, with the company buying up enough to use the super-hard technology for its displays.
Sapphire is already used by the Cupertino brand for its Touch ID sensor cover and the camera glass, so extending it out makes a lot of sense. Whether it will be cost effective remains to be seen - but given iPhones are one of the top devices for broken screen repair, reducing this problem would go down nicely.
However, there's an issue here: it's really expensive, and as such seems like it would bump up the cost of the phone too much for Apple, even though its customer base expects to pay a premium.
The sapphire rumour just won't die though, as there's now a video purportedly showing an iPhone 6 display and at one point it's bent between two hands, which doesn't necessarily mean it's sapphire but it's something which wouldn't be possible with Gorilla Glass.
While another video demonstrates just how strong it is, by attacking the supposed iPhone 6 display with keys, a knife and more - a display which apparently looks like Sapphire glass according to Professor Neil Alford of the department of materials at Imperial College, London.
It may only be partially made from sapphire though,as another video puts it up against sandpaper in a battle that the screen loses, which it wouldn't have done if it was pure sapphire, which tallies with other reports like those from LEDinside.
As such, this means it likely that the sapphire glass hasn't made it to final production, with the front instead just getting a massive bump in strength. This would put it on a par with the rest of the market though, and would still reduce the amount of cracked iPhone screens you see around.
It might not matter too much if it does get scratched though, as we're also hearing that it could even self heal, with Apple trying to patent a special screen coating that could heal to dramatically enhance the appearance of the iPhone 6, as well as other Apple products.
iPhone 6 specs: NFC on the way
What's this? NFC in an iPhone? About time too. New leaks state this is finally happening in the iPhone 6, and Apple has been busy creating a reason for it too.
It's a theory that's looking ever more likely as it's now been revealed that Apple has partnered with China UnionPay to add its banking service to Passbook. That in itself needn't mean NFC, but apparently users will also be able to make payments on China UnionPay's QuickPass machines, which use NFC.
Many Android phones now boast NFC and Apple appears to have been happy to be left behind here, so we'd be a little surprised to see it suddenly rocking the contactless technology when it appears to be on the wane.
Then again, the evidence for it is mounting and with images showing a cut-out where the Apple logo would be it's possible that NFC will be embedded into a non-metal logo.
We've also seen an image of an iPhone 6 logic board which according to Nowhereelse.fr proves the presence of NFC and a leaked schematic, which appears to show an NFC chip, so file this one under likely.
Update: Looks like a 128GB version of the iPhone 6 (needed if the rumours of a much higher-res screen are to be believed) will be offered to cater for the larger apps and more photography many will be doing - it's not going to be cheap, though, and will be the most expensive iPhone yet.
Meanwhile Touch ID is unsurprisingly expected to make a return, but sources claim that Apple is making the sensor more durable this time around. We're not sure how durable something that you lightly press your finger against really needs to be, but it could mean that the accuracy will be further improved for fewer missed presses.
We've also now had our first look at what might be the iPhone 6 Touch ID sensor. The photo was shared by ASCII.jp and shows two sensors. The top one is taken from an iPhone 5S and the bottom one is, well, not. That doesn't necessarily mean it's an authentic iPhone 6 one but it certainly looks different, so perhaps it's the more durable redesign we've heard about.
The iPhone 6 could save your life - with iOS 8
Apple has already lifted the lid on iOS 8 at its WWDC 2014 conference in San Francisco and going by previous iterations of the software it'll arrive alongside a new iPhone in September.
The much rumored "HealthBook" does makes its way to iOS 8, but with the slightly altered name of "Health."
This app can pull in data from various health monitoring applications, providing you with one centralized sourced to view all your vital statistics, while the HealthKit developer tool will allow applications to make greater use of this function.
With the Health app now on the scene, reports that the iPhone 6 will apparently come with an array of sensors to monitor your health and environment begin to look far more credible.
iPhone 6 power
Not a huge surprise, this one: the next processor will be an A8. The big sell here is more power with better efficiency, which should help battery life, as well as being incredibly powerful for gaming. If you saw the demo on stage at WWDC, you'll know that the new iPhone is going to be very capable at rendering beautiful games.
There were thoughts that it might be quad-core, but recent rumors suggest Apple will stick with a dual-core chip, albeit one that's much faster at 2GHz (the iPhone 5S is 1.3GHz) which will allow for a noticeably faster response time and graphics rendering.
It will also apparently be made using a 20nm manufacturing process, meaning that it will be smaller and more efficient than the 28nm processor in current iPhone models.
Anyone hoping for some juicy Samsung technology hidden under the iPhone 6 body will be disappointed though, as reports suggest Apple is looking to push its Korean rival further out of the iPhone picture with its eighth-gen handset.
Apple is apparently cutting the amount of A8 processors it is having made by Samsung, although it hasn't severed ties completely just yet.
There's not been much word on how much RAM the iPhone 6 will come with, but KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo reckons it will have 1GB, just like the iPhone 5 and iPhone 5S before it - which would be a shame given there's a 64-bit architecture to the chip, which can't be exploited properly under 4GB of RAM.
It's also possible that the 5.5-inch model will be more powerful than the 4.7-inch one, as according to AppleInsider, supply chain checks from analyst Timothy Arcuri suggest a more powerful processor will be included in the 5.5-inch handset, though there's no word on how much more powerful.
Expect the iPhone 6 to support speedy data too, as both versions are rumored to have a Qualcomm MDM9625 chip, which supports LTE-Advanced. However it doesn't have Cat 6 support, so it caps out at 150Mbps, while in theory Cat 6 LTE-A devices will be able to download data at up to 300Mbps.
On the storage front it's been reported that for the first time we might get a 128GB iPhone, but that only the 5.5 inch iPhone 6 will reach that capacity, while the 4.7 inch model will be capped at 64GB.
The battery could be getting a boost too, as IT168 reports that the 4.7 inch model will have an 1800 mAh power pack (which is a 15% increase in capacity over the iPhone 5S) and the 5.5 inch handset will have a 2500 mAh unit, which is a huge 60% increase over the iPhone 5S. Of course with the phones also getting larger and more powerful that won't necessarily translate to a huge boost in life.
We've now seen an image purportedly showing an iPhone 6 battery courtesy of Nowhereelse.fr and it comes in at 1810 mAh, essentially matching previous rumors.
iPhone 6 camera and wireless charging
The best iPhone camera yet
Apple's bought camera sensors from Sony before, and this year there's signs that we're going to see a new, 13-megapixel sensor that takes up less room without compromising image quality.
With the arrival of iOS 8 at WWDC, Apple showed off a whole host of fancy new photo editing options and what better way to take full advantage of the new features than with an upgraded camera on the iPhone 6?
But that's not what everybody thinks.
The China Post, quoting a tip from the country's Nomura Security, claims that the next iPhone won't go for a 12 or 16-megapixel sensor, instead sticking to the existing 8-megapixel unit.
With more recent rumors suggesting that Apple has signed up to use a new material that will dramatically improve the quality of light trickling into the phone, a 10MP+ sensor could be possible - but we're more inclined to believe that, as another report recently suggested, Apple will stick with the current resolution.
Why go for more megapixels if the pictures won't be any better? The notion that Apple will stick with an 8MP sensor might not be so good for marketing, but news states the iPhone 6 will have an f/2.0 aperture and dramatically enhanced image processing, so your snaps will look so good that most won't even care that the numbers are down.
And you shouldn't - 5MP is enough to blow up a photo to A3 size, so when are you going to need more?
Sun Chang Xu, the chief analyst at ESM-China, has also claimed on Weibo that the iPhone 6 will have 1.75 um pixels, compared to the 1.5 um pixels on the iPhone 5S. Bigger pixels let more light in and deliver better quality shots, particularly in low light, but if Apple is increasing the pixel size then that further suggests that the company won't be upping the megapixel count.
On top of that, more impressive tech will also help make your snaps stand out. A patent confirms this, saying Apple's aim is to use "voice coil motor actuators" to move the lens around the optical axis.
All that said, the 13 megapixel rumor has popped up again, this time from G4Games, quoting a source with 'a great track record', so the iPhone 6 might be getting a megapixel boost after all.
An Apple patent, uncovered by Apple Insider in May 2013, shows a system where an iPhone can remotely control other illuminating devices - extra flashes. It would work in a similar manner to that seen in professional photography studios.
Interesting stuff, though there are dozens of Apple patents floating around and there's no reason to think this particular one will make it into a finished product.
More convincingly, Sun Chang Xu reported on Weibo that the iPhone 6 will use Electronic Image Stabilisation (EIS). That's a software alternative to Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS). Both solutions aim to prevent images from coming out blurred, but while OIS uses moving parts to balance the camera, EIS uses software algorithms to compensate.
EIS has been upgraded hugely in the last year to match the prowess of the optical solution - so much so that the likes of LG have dropped OIS to move to this electronic option.
Whatever camera we get it may not be flush with the back of the handset, as a schematic shared by apple.club.tw shows an iPhone 6 with a protruding camera lens which sticks out either 0.67 or 0.77mm. This might be necessary in order to make the iPhone 6 extra slim, but it seems like a clunky solution.
iPhone 6 wireless charging, haptic feedback and more
Wireless charging still isn't mainstream. Could Apple help give it a push? CP Tech reports that Apple has filed a patent for efficient wireless charging, but then again Apple has filed patents for pretty much anything imaginable.
The tasty bit of this particular patent is that Apple's tech wouldn't just charge one device, but multiple ones. Here are more details on the iPhone 6 wireless charging patent.
Wireless charging is slowly starting to pick up steam and Apple could give it just the push it needs to really get there, but we're not convinced we'll see the tech in the iPhone 6, as it seems like something that Apple's more likely to wait on until the infrastructure is in place to make it genuinely useful.
A new rumor out of China suggests that the iPhone 6 may have improved haptic feedback, allowing it to deliver different vibrations depending on the needs of an application or based on which part of the screen you touch.
Meanwhile, a further Apple patent seems to imply that future iPhones will be able to adjust volume as you move them away from your ear. Again, there's a big difference between a patent and a finished product and little reason to think it will make it into the iPhone 6, but it's certainly an interesting idea.
We've also caught wind of a reversible Lightning USB cable, which may well debut with the iPhone 6 and can be plugged into a power adapter or computer either way up.
- We're expecting a new iPad Air later this year too