iPhone 6 release date, news and rumors

24th Jul 2014 | 10:25

iPhone 6 release date, news and rumors

Everything we've heard so far about the new iPhone 6

iPhone 6 release date and price

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.

As per usual, the internet is awash with rumor, speculation and downright lies over this next-generation handset, which is why we spend our time trawling through each nugget of info, debating its merits and curating it into this easy-to-read hub for all things iPhone 6.

According to a survey of 4109 US consumers the iPhone 6 is the most anticipated Apple smartphone ever, with interest easily outstripping that of the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5.

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.

Some of you might have been expecting the iPhone 6 to have debuted in 2013, but given the iPhone's history - from the 3G onwards, there's always been a half-step S model before the next numbered iPhone - we were never going to get the 6 until 2014.

In fact, it will technically be the iPhone 8 when it finally launches... but hey, who's counting these days? It's unlikey to arrive alongside the new iPad, which is expected a few weeks later in October.

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 2014 seems most likely
  • What will it cost? Prices are likely to start at around £550 / $944 / AU$1006

Latest update: More images claiming to show the front panel of the iPhone 6 have emerged, showing just how much larger the 4.7-inch version could be compared to the current 4-inch models.

iPhone 6 release date

The iPhone 6 release date will be in 2014 and it's looking increasingly likely that we'll see it in September, which would fit in nicely with the rollout of the newly announced iOS 8.

Apple has launched the last few iPhones at a special event in September, so the smart money has always been on September 2014 for the iPhone 6's arrival - followed by a new iPad Air launch in October.

Not to mention the fact that according to ifun.de Apple is restricting holidays during September for employees at German Apple Stores, which strongly suggests a new hardware launch then.

It's looking increasingly likely that we'll see more than one Apple handset this year though. KGI's analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has thrown his hat into the ring and seems to think a duo of new iPhones will be released, with a 4.7-inch iPhone coming out towards the end of the third quarter and a 5.5-inch iPhablet hitting the market late in the fourth quarter.

Suggestions of both sizes arriving September could also hold water, though we've also heard that Apple has had trouble finding appropriate batteries for the 5.5-inch device and that as a result it might even slip into next year.

Other rumors point to a September launch for both sizes, though they do re-iterate that the 5.5-inch model is facing production problems. While more recent rumors also claim a September launch, September 19 to be precise.

On the other hand reports out of China claim that while it will be unveiled on September 15, the iPhone 6 won't be released until September 25. Whatever the case though, September is looking pretty locked in.

Reuters reports that Apple has gone on a massive hiring spree at factories in China, so it's clearly preparing to take the iPhone 6 into production, which makes sense if the handset is launching just a few months from now.

And it sounds like production is about to start, as the Economic Daily News reports that the 4.7 inch model should go into production any day now, while the 5.5 inch handset will enter production sometime in August.

Apple's seemingly expecting record demand for its handsets too, as The Wall Street Journal reports that it's ordered between 70 and 80 million units, while last year the company initially ordered between 50 and 60 million.

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'.

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iPhone 6 screen and sizes

Bigger screen(s)?

One of the most enduring rumors about the iPhone 6 is that it will have a bigger screen than the iPhone 5S.

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."

According to Business Insider, of the many iPhone 6 prototypes Apple has made, one has a giant Retina+ IGZO display and a "new form factor with no home button. Gesture control is also possibly included." It will surely include Apple's new Touch ID fingerprint tech though?

The Retina+ Sharp IGZO display would have a 1080p Full HD resolution. However we're not convinced that the prototype will make it to market. Ditching the home button would be a big change and no other rumors point in that direction.

It has however been widely reported that Apple could introduce two handset sizes as it seeks to compete with the plethora of Android devices now on the market - with both being a lot thinner thanks to big improvements in LED backlight technology to reduce the thickness.

With everything we've seen so far we reckon there will almost certainly be two screen sizes and resolutions, as mentioned above.

iPhone 5S

In fact the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 has been tipped again alongside a larger 5.7-inch (or is that a QHD 5.5-inch screen?) model as part of Apple's double attack on the market following the 5S and 5C.

A Full HD display makes perfect sense for the iPhone 6, especially if it grows to a 4.7-inch screen as mooted, and the iPhablet will push things even further to preserve the Retina experience on a larger display.

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.

The most 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.

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.

iPod Nano 7th Generation

All that said, while a 5.5-inch iPhone is certainly looking likely we may have to wait longer than expected for it, as we're now hearing that the larger iPhone 6 has hit production problems, which may see it delayed until 2015.

However other sources sound optimistic that it will arrive at the same time as the 4.7-inch model.

The 4.7-inch version is said to still be on track with an images of a supposed iPhone 6 production mold and front plate sneaking onto the web on more than one occasion.

iPhone 6 - LEAK

There's still a small possibility of the iPhone 6 sporting a flexible wraparound display after more patents were uncovered, but we reckon that's more likely to feature on the iPhone 7 or 8 instead.

iPhone 6 front panel

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.

iPhone 6 - LEAK

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.

Canonical's CEO thinks that the Cupertino firm has been buying up swathes of the material, but that doesn't necessarily mean it will be used in the iPhone 6. Instead could this be for the iWatch? Seems more likely than an entire phone screen.

Apple even has a patent for an oleophobic (anti-smudge) coating that works on sapphire crystal to ensure the surface doesn't get covered in grubby fingerprints - exactly what you need if you're going to cover the front of a phone with it, but again, we're inclined to think that the equally prod-prone iWatch is a more likely candidate.

iPhone 6 bending screen

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.

Screen vs sandpaper

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.

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 design, healthcare and power

iPhone 6 design

It's been suggested that there could be as many as three size variants of the new iPhone - think iPhone 5C sequel, an iPhone 6 and an iPhone 6 XL - 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.

"If the iPhone 6 doesn't have a Liquidmetal body, then we'll probably never see one."

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 (thanks to that LED backlight we mentioned earlier) - 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.

iPhone 6 - LEAK

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.

iPhone 6 shell

Another thing to take away from this image is that the Apple logo is a cut-out. There are several possible reasons for that, it could be that Apple plans to embed NFC or some form of wireless charging into the logo, but the most obvious reason is simply to add an extra radio-transparent area in order to improve reception.

Apple logo

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.

We may also be in for a subtly curved screen, as a rumor has popped up claiming that the iPhone 6's display will curve slightly at the edges so that it sits flush with the phones chassis, which itself will apparently also be curved, perhaps along the lines of the Samsung Galaxy S3 or even Apple's own iPhone 3GS.

That's looking ever more likely as we've also now seen some images that purportedly show an iPhone 6 dummy and the screen seems ever so slightly curved.

iPhone 6 dummy

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).

Further evidence for a super slim design comes from a video posted by Unbox Therapy, which shows a 6.1mm thick iPod touch Fifth Generation being put in a case supposedly designed for the iPhone 6 and fitting perfectly in terms of thickness if not length and width.

Not the most scientific of tests perhaps, but along with those renders it certainly looks feasible that we could be in for a roughly 6mm thick handset.

The larger 5.7-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. 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.

For a start, we saw photos supposedly showing off the design of the iPhone 6 reveal a slender smartphone.

iPhone 6 - LEAK

We've also seen what is purportedly an iPhone 6 dummy unit. The handset has been put side by side with the iPhone 5S in the pictures, showing a much larger and more rounded but similarly slim device, which is roughly along the lines of what we're expecting based on other rumors.

As mentioned, it takes some design cues from the likes of the iPad Air and Mini 2 - that's something we think would be a great idea, as those both have a great feel in the hand.

iPhone 6 dummy

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.

This could of course be a fake, but moving the power button to the side would make sense given the larger size of the phone and a few more images have since appeared showing a similarly designed device.

iPhone 6 dummy outdoors

Another set of dummy images has since been unearthed, this time by 9to5Mac, showing 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.

iPhone 6 dummies

With evidence mounting it looks increasingly like this could be the shape of iPhones to come, though being a dummy unit the hardware won't be final.

Another leak shows the design getting apparently closer to the final shape - and this time the Apple logo has been removed to possibly allow it light up in a similar way to the Macbook. Head on over to nowhereelse.fr to see the full slew of pics.

iPhone 6

While it's tricky to confirm the authenticity of these leaks they suddenly look a whole lot more convincing after Taiwanese actor Jimmy Lin 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.

iPhone 6 - LEAK

Mr Lin may also have the larger 5.5-inch iPhone 6 (or at least a mockup unit) in his posession, after he posted another photo online which a big looking iPhone sitting on a work bench.

iPhone 6 - LEAK

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.

iPhone 6 - LEAK

Sonny Dickson has gone one further though after getting his hands on mockups of two sizes of iPhone 6 handsets - could these be the 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch variants we've heard so much about?

iPhone 6 - LEAK

As well as coming in gold/white, chances are we'll also see a black/space grey version of the iPhone 6 too, and that's exactly what has appeared in leaks from two different sites.

iPhone 6 - LEAK

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.

iPhone 6 - LEAK

We may now have got our first glimpse of a finished iPhone 6, as that's exactly what KitGuru is claiming the image below is. There's no way to verify it, but KitGuru leaked a genuine iPhone 5 back in 2012, so it's got a track record.

iPhone 6

Moving on from images to videos, Mac Otakara posted one to YouTube. It shows mockups much like we've seen in countless images, but it also gives us a look at what might be the actual back of the iPhone 6.

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.

NFC and Touch ID

What's this? NFC in an iPhone? About time too. Well, that's what iDownloadblog reckons, quoting Jefferies analyst Peter Misek. He's not the only analyst tossing his hat into the iPhone 6 NFC ring, with Ming-Chi Kuo also supporting the theory.

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 recent images showing a cut-out where the Apple logo would be it's possible that NFC will be embedded into a non-metal logo.

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 increased durability is surely no bad thing.

Touch ID sensor

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.

It could save your life - with iOS 8

With iOS 7 heading out of the traps now, who's betting against the next iPhone coming 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 or an evolved A7. The big sell here is more power with better efficiency, which should help battery life.

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 or above (the iPhone 5S is 1.3GHz). 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.

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.

iPhone 6 camera

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.

Say Cheese to the iPhone 6

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.

It doesn't work as well as OIS, but with less hardware it allows the phone to be slimmer, lighter and cheaper to produce, so it looks like Apple might be going for a slim design at all costs.

Meanwhile KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo reckons that the 5.5 inch iPhone 6 will get OIS, but the 4.7 inch model won't.

A new name

It's looking like the 5.5 inch iPhone 6 might be called the iPhone Air. Chinese media outlets quoted inside sources as claiming that the iPhablet would carry the new moniker and since then a case maker has latched on to the iPhone Air name too.

It makes sense that it would have a different name as Apple needs to differentiate it from the 4.7 inch model. Calling it the iPhone Air also suggests that it might be slim and light, which could well be true as we've heard that it will be just 6.7mm thick.

iPhone 6 wireless charging and haptic feedback

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.

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