Unlike our iPhone 5S article regarding its release date, features and rumors, this article is going to have to be more speculative. There’s no doubt in many people’s minds that iPhone 5S will be released before the end of 2013. But the release time and specifications of the iPhone 5 will be even harder to estimate. If any major updates come out in the press, we’ll write an updated article regarding the iPhone 6.

The Release Date

The iPhone, iPhone 3 and iPhone 4 were all released in June. While the iPhone 5 on the other hand was released in September. Jeffries analyst Peter Misek believes that the iPhone 6 would follow the June release pattern, meaning it would come out on June 2014. Samsung, HTC and Sony devices are all planned to be released before then, but it’s unlikely Apple will release earlier than June.


The Operating System

iOS 7 is planned to be released in September 2013 and the beta is already out. What that means is that the iPhone 6 will come pre-installed with at least iOS 7. By June 2014 iOS 7 will have been out officially for more than a year.


Photo from Tested.com

However there’s something else at play here. Apple usually releases new iOS versions in June at the WWDC. So if iOS 8 will be released on June 2014, and the iPhone 6 will also be released, we could just see the two come hand in hand. iOS 8 won’t be available for the iPhone 4, so the introduction of iPhone 6 and iOS 8 might be a big incentive for consumers to upgrade.

One thing we know about iOS 8 is that it will most likely not change much from iOS 7. The design and functionality of iOS 1 remained the same even in iOS 6. iOS 7 was a big change for Apple’s users, and it’s likely that Apple will stick with this design for at least iOS 8/9.

The Screen

The iPhone 5’s screen has nearly 730,000 pixels, and the iPhone 5S is expected to have 1.5 million. We can expect the the pixel density of the iPhone 6 will increase by at least 25%. It also wouldn’t be surprising if Apple was able to bring the Retina display to the iPhone. The Galaxy S4 has a higher pixel density than the iPhone 5 right now; meaning Apple will have to keep improve it’s screen significantly to make sure competitors don’t beat them again.


While a lot of people speculate (as in wish for/guess) that the iPhone 6 will have a 4.8 inch screen, it probably won’t. Apple has always believed that it’s current iPhone size is perfect not only for the aspect ratio of applications/movies, but also perfect for the average hand. Making the screen bigger will also mean making the phone thicker or heavier, which are both things Apple doesn’t want.

Since developers already have to design applications for the iPad, the iPad Retina, the iPad mini, the iPod touch, the iPod touch 5th generation, the iPhone and the iPhone 5 screen sizes/resolutions, it’s highly unlikely that Apple will introduce yet another variation.

Gaze Technology

S4 has a gaze detecting feature which can do really cool things. If you look away from your screen for example the movie you were watching pauses. The gaze detection also supports flipping through photos by using your eye gestures. Apple filed for gaze detection technology patents with the US Patent & Trademark Office on May 30th, 2013. If the iPhone 6’s battery has more juice than the iPhone 5S, then we can expect to see gaze technology make its way into Apple’s products. The reason behind this is that eye tracking requires both the camera and computational power to be successful, both things which take a lot of power to do.


The Galaxy S4 already features gaze technology

iOS 7 has a feature where the background moves when you move your phone. It has almost a “3D” effect to it. If the iPhone 6 featured gaze technology then we can safely assume that there will also be some sort of gazing background featured that moves your background depending on where your eyes are.

Apple is also known for being very innovative with their products. So it’s even more likely that their gaze technology will bring something new to the table that we can’t even foresee. Apple might even build a new piece of hardware which can track the eyes without having to run the camera.

NFC Technology and Fingerprint Scanner

NFC chips (such as the ones that the Galaxy S4 features) let you do some pretty cool things such as: sharing photos with friends or paying at registers using digital wallets. If the iPhone 5S won’t get NFC, then the iPhone 6 will get it no matter what. Apple isn’t known for adapting new technology that is still in it’s infancy, but by next year NFC integration will be more realistic for the iPhone 6 than it would be for the 5S.


Photo from Softpedia.

The chances of the iPhone 5S getting a fingerprint scanner are really high, meaning that the iPhone 6 will surely have the same feature. If the iPhone 5S has a fingerprint scanner than other phone companies are going to follow suit. Then Apple will essentially have to beat the fingerprint scanning competition for its iPhone 6, for a feature it was the first to introduce.

That’s the tough part about being Apple. After they made the first (purely) touch screen phone, or after they made the app store, other competition made similar and cheaper products within months. For the iPhone 6 fingerprint scanner to beat the competition it created itself, Apple would have to introduce an even better fingerprint scanner. Think “Retina” scanner or along those lines. It certainly will be interesting to see how Apple will be tackling this issue in a year from now.

The “Smart” Bezel

The current black frame around the iPhone’s screen isn’t used as a touchscreen. However Patently Apple thinks it has uncovered big plans for the new bezel.

Instead of developers having to take up space on the screen with virtual buttons, Patently Apple thinks Apple may have found a better solution: making the sides of the screen into buttons. When a phone is held in landscape mode there’s two pointer fingers on the top corners of the phone; and there’s also two thumbs that can press about 8 different sections of the bezel.


These side buttons would be lit up in some way so that users know they can interact with them. But what’s still not very clear is if Apple intends to actually implement this patent in upcoming devices. That would mean that they value the gaming experience high enough to risk upsetting normal users with the new bezel buttons. Adding a smart bezel would also raise production prices. So if the smart bezel doesn’t appeal to the masses, then it wouldn’t make sense putting it in and lowering Apple’s profit margins.

The New Processor

It’s really impossible to tell how much Apple’s processor will improve by in the coming years. According to Moore’s law, processor power doubles every 18 months. What this doesn’t take into account is the energy it takes to run these processors. So the iPhone 6 may have the potential of running a chip twice as fast as the iPhone 5S, but it might not have the battery juice to do so. In this case Apple would go with a chip that isn’t as strong, but is more efficient.

The Battery

The iPhone 5 runs for up to 8 hours on 3G. The iPhone 5S will run for just as long or up to an hour longer. That means that the iPhone 6 should run for at least 9 hours of talk time.


In unrelated news: The new MacBook Air 13″ has an extra 5 hours of battery life (up to 12 from 7). That’s a 42% increase. So if Apple is able to make their processor more efficient and implement new battery technology, then the talk time battery life will surely be at least 9 hours.

The Storage

Since 64GB has been the largest storage available in the iPhone and iPod touch for the past couple of years, we can expect that the iPhone 6 will finally get a 128GB model. Apple might choose to save the 128GB model release for the iPhone 6 and not the iPhone 5S. When the 128GB model will be released it will simply crush the competition. Not because everyone will buy that model. But because Apple may stop selling 16GB models, and instead only sell 32GB, 64GB and 128GB. It would make more sense for them to couple a default storage boost like this with their other new features in the iPhone 6, because it will have a great market impact.

The Price

Apple usually releases its new devices (such as the MacBook Air and iPhones) at the same prices as the old ones. The market is also really competitive right now so it’s highly unlikely that they will want to raise prices. The new prices would probably look like this (assuming that the 16GB model is dropped in the iPhone 6, just like the iPhone 8GB was dropped in the iPhone 5):

  • iPhone 6 32GB $649.00
  • iPhone 6 64GB $749.00
  • iPhone 6 128 $849.00

Right now the iPhone 5 32GB model costs $749. If the iPhone 5S 32GB will also cost $749, then the iPhone 6’s 32GB model moving to $649.00 would be really competitive.


What would be really surprising is if Apple is able to bring down their iPhone prices even more. The price reduction  might give Apple enough of a foothold in the phone market to turn iOS into the most popular mobile system again (Android is currently the most popular).

A price reduction is highly unlikely to happen though. Apple has been having problems manufacturing in Foxconn with workers routinely rioting and committing suicide. It got so bad that Apple decided to move some of its Mac production to the USA. USA production means that Apple will make less profits on it’s Mac models, and it’s unlikely that it can afford a  price cut in the iPhone.

Even though a price cut would push more consumers towards the iPhone, it wouldn’t be beneficial enough for Apple to risk with investors.

iPhone Camera and Casing

It’s too early on to know exactly what Apple is planning for the new casing design and camera updates. Since the display size won’t change, it’s unlikely that the aspect ratio will change either. Even if a smart bezel was included in the iPhone 6, the casing would have a similar size. As for the color, shape, or material, there’s not much to go off of at the moment. Some people are speculating guessing that the iPhone 6 might have a “cheap” model made out of plastic, and a higher-end model made out of metal. It is highly unlikely for Apple to cater to cheap prices wishes by lowering the quality of their phones.


A perfect example is this: When Intel/AMD ultrabooks started competing with the MacBook Air/MacBook Pro, Apple didn’t lower it’s prices. Instead it added a Retina display to the Mac Book Pro line and doubled the price of it. For Apple to make a “cheaper” model would be unheard of. People have been saying that an iPhone “Mini” would come out ever since the iPhone 3 and we haven’t caught glimpse of one yet. The same goes for a bigger iPhone such as the “iPhone Math.”


Am I dreaming?
Yes sir. It appears the iPhone mini is real. You are in fact dreaming then. Photo from Forbes.


As for the iPhone 6 camera, it will feature at least a 13MP sensor. Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities already speculates that the iPhone 5S will have a 13MP camera. Meaning that the iPhone 4 could very well feature a 15MP+ camera.

Wireless Charging

Wireless charging isn’t going to show up in the iPhone 5S and it’s still not going to be ready for the iPhone 6. This isn’t because Apple can’t handle the new technology, but rather because wireless charging is still a very new idea. The iPhone 6 (as any other iPhone) will be about quality and reliability over brand new features that haven’t been fully tested in the market.

Other iPhone 6 Rumors

Techradar believes that the iPhone 5S might feature a “proximity volume control.”  This is based off of a patent Apple got approved for “Adjustment of acoustic properties based on proximity detection.” When Apple patents a new type of technology is usually takes a year or two for it to show up in a product (if it ever does). It wo

uld be too early for a proximity volume control mechanism to be implemented into the iPhone 5S; but by the time the iPhone 6 is going to come out, it may be perfect.


Since the “S” models aren’t known to get a lot of updates, it would make a lot of sense for Apple to save the best features for the iPhone 6. The iPhone 5S will most likely feature a fingerprint scanner and some minor improvements, but the iPhone 6 will have a major overhaul. This overhaul of features, battery life and new operating system may be just what Apple needs to get its stock price back up.

Apple always likes to market its new products along the lines of “The best thing to come to iPhone since the iPhone.” But with the iPhone 6 coming up, this might actually me more true than ever before.

An iPhone with a fingerprint scanner,  smart bezel, NFC chip and gaze technology will be a great product to own. Not to mention that the camera sensor will be better than point and shoot cameras five years ago. However, it’s possible that we can’t get all of these features in the same phone. We might only end up with a couple of them; because Apple is known for trickling its technology out to keep customers coming back for the next update.

However, with phones such as the Galaxy S4 that feature IR remote capabilities, thermometers and gaze technology, Apple may have to step up in the game to keep afloat. Their old strategy of trickling features over the years and marketing small changes as revolutionary may no longer work. With headlines such as the one below becoming customary in the press, Apple isn’t looking very good.



In the coming years Apple will be put to the test and the products it will deliver will be the products we’ll be relying on daily for business, family and friends. We know Apple can deliver reliable products that never fail, but it’s time for it to take a risk again and do what Apple does best: impress us.

Article written by Octavian Ristea.