Tim Cook promised a busy 2014 and it's sure looking like that might indeed pan out, according to a recent research report from the typically accurate Ming-Chi Kuo. In a research note that made the rounds on Wednesday evening, Kuo laid out all of Apple's projected 2014 product rollouts, spanning everything from the iWatch to the iPhone and more.
Here, we'll focus first on Apple's plans in the iOS space with details surrounding what type of updates we can look forward to, with respect to the iPhone.
Kuo anticipates that Apple later this year will release two new iPhone models, one with a 4.7-inch screen and another set to be positioned as a premium 5.5-inch model. Indeed, rumors of Apple increasing the size of the Phone display have persisited for quite some time, with recently leaked schematics purporting to be of Apple's next-gen iPhone supporting this notion as well.
That Apple is headed down this route at all shouldn't come as much of a surprise. Apple is keenly aware that big screens are attracting consumers in droves. In a recently released slide from an internal Apple presentation, Apple's sales team said rather bluntly that "consumers want what we don't have," which is to say larger iPhone screens.
Aside from obvious size differences, the top-of-the-line 5.5-inch model will sport a higher-resolution screen at 1,920-by-1,080 pixels, which translates to 401 pixels per inch. The 4.7-inch iteration will use an oddly-spec'd 1,334-by-750 pixel display to maintain scalability with existing apps. That screen is good for a pixel density of 326 ppi.
Other features that may grace Apple's 2014 iPhone lineup include a blazing new A8 chip and NFC functionality, a feature which has long been rumored to be in the works. Notably, the camera on Apple's next-gen iPhone models won't be upgraded, though picture quality may still be improved on account of optical image stabilization technology.
Apple, of course, has historically poked fun at abnormally large devices. That said, despite moving ahead with larger screened iPhones, Apple will account for this by shrinking the bezels by upwards of 20%. Further, given that Apple has long championed one-handed iPhone use, Kuo relays that Apple may move the sleep/wake button to the side of the device.
On top of that, the new iPhone models may be a tad thinner, but will nonetheless sport much larger batteries given all of the expanded real estate. While more juice will be needed to power the larger display, we can only hope there's some left over to actually increase battery life on the device.
But what about all of that sapphire Apple is reportedly hard at work producing at its plant in Arizona? Where does that come into play? Well, according to Kuo, not every iPhone model will see the sapphire treatment. With the iWatch reportedly set to account for the bulk of Apple's sapphire supply, Kuo anticipates that it's possible that only Apple's most high-end iPhone -- the 64GB 5.5-inch model -- will come with a sapphire display.