iPhone 6 rumor rollup for the week ending Sept. 27

What the next iPhone needs, what is has, what it looks like

iPhone 6

The iOSphere this week was filled with iPhone 6 demands, revelations, assertions, and advice, most of it aimed at Apple.

The company was assured, earnestly and solemnly what iPhone 6 “needs” to avoid being accused of the Innovation Deficit and facing Certain Doom. In other cases, bloggers confidently exposed all the specific features that Apple has, obviously, already included in the Next iPhone. Apparently, all we’re waiting for is Apple’s marketing guru, Phil Schiller, to confirm them a year from now.

Also this week: iPhone 6 fan art spoils the joy of new iPhone 5S buyers; and you won’t have to wait 12 months because iPhone 6 will be announced in Q1 2014.

You read it here second.

It is speculated that iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C were released by Apple because it has not completed the features it will include in the full-fledged smartphone [i.e., the iPhone 6].

— Kristin Dian Mariano, International Business Times, advancing a fairytale about how Apple’s original plan for iPhone 6 was derailed and the company created, on the fly, not one but two other phones to replace it this fall.

iPhone 6 “needs” to have six things

The Rollup loves posts with headlines like “What Apple needs to offer with the iPhone 6,” which sums up Lance Whitney’s recent post at CNET.

We can only hope, and pray, that Tim Cook, Jonathan Ive, and the rest of the innovation-challenged employees at Apple Headquarters have an RSS feed to Whitney’s blog.

The quick summary of what Whitney knows is needed: bigger screen, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, NFC (near field communications), higher pixel camera, 128GB storage option, and better battery life.

If these sound familiar that’s because most of them have been on lots of “What Apple Needs to Do” lists for the past three years, at least.

For each needed feature, Whitney’s rationale is so broad as to cover every possible contingency. Thus, the “bigger screen” needs to be bigger than the 4-inch diagonal screen for iPhone 5S and 5C but not, like, too big. “Apple should avoid the huge ‘phablet’ size favored by some companies but still outfit the iPhone 6 with at least a 4.5-inch display,” Whitney says. At what point does a smartphone screen become “huge?”

Whitney is among the many who still seem convinced that Apple is just waiting for the right moment -- the moment of “true consumer adoption,” according to Whitney -- to jam in a NFC chip and the massive antenna it requires so we can wave our iPhones around and buy stuff. The Rollup is skeptical: Apple’s interest seems to lie in crafting a highly functional, secure, and easy to use online transactional experience along with exploiting Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, both of which are already far more widely deployed than NFC.

Finally, it’s entirely likely Apple will continue to improve its smartphone camera, but doing so in more dimensions than simply increasing the number of megapixels. “But with consumers craving beefier smartphone cameras, next year may be time for Apple to boost the megapixel count to lure in more of those potential Lumia buyers,” Whitney says.

Right. Because so many people are flocking to those high-megapixel cameras on Nokia’s Windows Phone smartphone line. For example, in its second quarter earlier this year, Nokia reported it sold 7.4 million Lumia smartphones. Or, about 1.6 million fewer units than Apple sold in just the opening three-day weekend of sales for iPhone 5C and 5S.

iPhone 6 is a year away but we already know so much about it

Some people have the Next iPhone all figured out. People like Trevor Sheridan at a site called AppleNApps, where his post deduces all kinds of things.

For example, “It appears Apple has transitioned their yearly iPhone update cycle to September, so that means we should be seeing an all new iPhone in September 2014.” See how easy that was?

“Next year will be time for an all new design, as the iPhone 5S maintained the external design of the iPhone 5...,” he continues. “That means Apple’s major focus for the iPhone 6 will be the look and feel, and Apple probably already has a number of design mock-ups.”

Sheridan is certain Apple will increase the iPhone 6 screen resolution to 1920 x 1080 pixels, in a 4.7-inch diagonal screen, resulting in a 468 pixels per inch density, with an edge-to-edge display, and all of this resulting in an increase in the phone’s overall width of precisely 0.2 inches.

If the new iPhone 5C proves popular, he says, “Apple could use similar colorful polycarbonate real shells that are reinforced with a steel frame for the iPhone 6.” Or, it could save those shells for iPhone 6C, about which Sheridan seems to have doubts. Apple has made it clear that iPhone 5C simply takes over the lower-priced place that would have been occupied by a discounted iPhone 5.

“Of course, there will be a new A8 64-bit chip building upon the super powerful just released 64-bit A7 chip,” Sheridan reveals. Of course. Because, um, that’s Apple’s historical pattern with iPhone processors.

And like CNET’s Whitney, he knows Apple will have a better camera.

You’re probably better off not buying a new iPhone now and waiting a year.

iPhone 6 fan art so good that you’ll curse your iPhone 5S purchase

Over at IntoMobile, Blake Stimac is just thrilled by a new spate of fan art for iPhone 6, and one in particular.

“IPhone concept designs are some of the most intriguing we’ve seen, and this one is no exception,” he writes, in a post with the headline “iPhone 6 Concept Will Make You Regret Your 5S Purchase”. 

“The ultra thin design showcases a large, edge to edge display with the home button embedded right onto the screen,” he says, admiringly. “We’re more than aware that Apple is likely testing out a larger display on upcoming iPhones, and for now, it’s concept designs like this that will be the best we’ll get until (possibly) next year. While we certainly don’t doubt Apple’s design prowess, more often than not concept designs look better than the real deal.”

So the fan art is so good that you’ll rue your new iPhone purchase, or postpone it until the iPhone 6 comes out, when you’ll be disappointed again because it won’t be as good as the fan art. Or something.

iPhone 6 will be released in Q1 2014

One of the well-known rumor techniques is reusing older rumors, because even with Google search the iOSphere attention span is like a lightning flash.

In a post at a site called TekRieg, which seems to focus mainly on clickbait, Anna Mathews confides that “There are rumours going around that Apple may launch the iPhone 6 during Q1 of next year says IBT [International Business Times].”

And IBT did in fact say that…over six weeks ago in an Aug. 13 post, by Eric Pineda, who simply blends information taken from at least three other sources, which he generously and misleadingly calls “reports.”

“However, the reports seem to confirm that the iPhone 6 will not be part of the 2013 product surprises that Apple CEO Tim Cook had implied in previous statements,” Pineda wrote then. “Should that device become a reality, the earliest it will come is during the first months of 2014.”

But nowhere does he give a source for the first quarter 2014 release of the iPhone 6.

And this week, IBT said it again, in a post by Kristin Dian Mariano, “3 Reasons Why iPhone 6 Release Date is on March 2014” who also doesn’t bother to give any sources or evidence for her assertions.

Here’s one of them: “It is speculated that iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C were released by Apple because it has not completed the features it will include in the full-fledged smartphone [i.e., the iPhone 6].” The implication is that Apple is rushing to bring this delayed product to market ASAP, meaning early in 2014.

That qualifies for the “Most Preposterous iPhone 6 Rumor of the Week” competition. Complex products like smartphones are designed over a period of years. Mariano’s suggestion that Apple’s original plan to announce iPhone 6 in fall 2013 was derailed unexpectedly and that therefore the company created not one but two new phones in its place is a fairytale.

John Cox covers wireless networking and mobile computing for Network World.http://twitter.com/johnwcoxnwwjohn_cox@nww.com

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