With just months before the expected release of the iPhone 6, rumors continue to roll in about Apple’s next-generation smartphone. Will it have a thinner bezel? A bigger screen? A glowing logo on back? In today’s video, we catch up with all the latest speculation regarding the iPhone 6.
This week's Apple rumors were all iWatch, all the time.
No one has seen a single hardware leak of the iWatch but that didn't stopped the rumor mill from going ape-shit crazy for Apple's future wearable device this week. We saw whispers of sweat sensors, problems with the feds, and even celebrity athletes testing Apple's future fitness device.
Once again, we're taking the black cloth off our crystal ball and shining it up to see if we can spot what Tim Cook really has in store for the future of Apple. Come see which rumors are guaranteed to materialize and which are about to vanish like ghosts.
Stare into our crystal ball to see past the rumors and into the future...
The rumor: iWatch will have a "slightly rectangular" 2.5-inch screen.
The verdict: Sounds promising. We've seen rumors that the iWatch will have a round screen or a square screen, but according to Reuters, it'll actually be rectangular and feature wireless charging and a pulse sensor. It'll also be able to handle calls and texts when paired with an iPhone. None of this would really be that surprising, plus Apple's been making interfaces for its other 2.5-inch wearable device for years.
The rumor: Apple plans to release multiple sizes of the iWatch.
The verdict: Too early to tell. One size doesn't fit all when it comes to smart watches, so the The Wall Street Journal says Apple will release multiple screen sizes of the device and load it with 10 sensors. Other wearables like Nike's FuelBand and the Jawbone UP both come in multiple sizes so they fit as snuggly as possible for everyone, but they don't have to worry about fragmenting the app experience with different screen sizes. Will Jony Ive be able to deliver multiple iWatch sizes without making app development a nightmare?
The rumor: Apple plans to add a barometer to the iPhone 6.
The verdict: Maybe. Code in iOS 8 and Xcode 6 that references a new sensor for determining altitude was dug up by 9to5Mac. Apps can already calculate altitude using GPS and motion chips, but a dedicated sensor would improve accuracy and provide new information for fitness tracking. It would also make a riveting addition to Apple's lonely Compass app. Who knows, we might even see it in the iWatch if The Wall Street Journal's 10-sensor rumor is true.
The rumor: The Food and Drug Administration is holding up the launch of the iWatch.
The verdict: Hold until October. Apple is still waiting for government certification before entering mass-production, says Chinese site Laoyaoba. With July being the targeted month to start churning out iWatches, Apple still has time to wait for FDA approval if it's going to announce the wearable in October, and the wait might be worth it.
The iWatch's features are expected to be years ahead of other smartwatches; getting certification as a medical device would make it more appealing than just another gimmicky fitness band. It might even have a sensor that can taste and analyze your sweat if Laoyaoba's sketchy rumor turns out to be true.
The rumor: The iPad Air 2 will have recessed volume buttons and a new speaker grill.
The verdict: Probably not. NowhereElse loves publishing pictures of dummy Apple units more than Kanye West loves talking about himself, but their latest iPad Air 2 dummy, based on "leaked schematics," looks a bit off. The recessed volume buttons could be an idea Apple was experimenting with in production, but the allegedly new large speaker grill holes look better suited for grating cheese than channeling tunes to the masses.
We're still three months away from the likely launch of the iPhone 6, and the number of apparent leaks are piling up by the day. So what do we know so far about Apple's upcoming phone? And which rumors do we secretly hope are true? Check out the above gallery to see what we've put together.
There’s no mystery about the fact that the iPhone 6 is going to be bigger. Just how much bigger remains open for debate, but most sources suggest Apple plans to release the iPhone 6 in two sizes: a 4.7-inch model and a larger 5.5-inch unit.
Both would be considerably larger than any previous iPhone. The reason is obvious: With high-end Android smartphones getting bigger every year, Apple needs to compete in order to avoid losing customers who think a 4-inch display just isn’t big enough to do everything they want.
In September 2013, the Wall Street Journal reported that Apple was experimenting “with screens ranging from 4.8 inches to as high as 6 inches.” Analysts picked up the news, too. By early this year, the sizes seemed more or less confirmed — although reported production problems with the larger iPhone 6 might delay that model beyond September's supposed launch date.
While the "s” iPhone iterations we’ve seen since 2011 have (with a few exceptions, like Touch ID and the gold iPhone 5s) focused mainly on internal, rather than external, changes, the full number iPhones have traditionally come with significant redesigns. Other than screen size, the biggest physical change likely to be found in the iPhone 6 is a thinner design.
With the success of the iPad Air line, it’s no surprise Apple would want to incorporate some of those aesthetics by creating a slimmer “iPhone Air” concept.
Macotakara has previously claimed that the iPhone 6 will be 7mm thick — making it 0.5mm thinner than the iPad Air, and 0.6mm thinner than the iPhone 5s. The larger size of the iPhone 6 models would also necessitate moving the on/off switch, while the twin volume buttons would likely be unified into a single rocker.
It certainly would be a cool design touch to see an illuminated Apple logo on the back of the iPhone 6. A photograph of an allegedly leaked iPhone 6 back panel depicted a cut-out Apple shape, suggesting we could get that glow — although obviously we’ll have to wait and see. There are also likely to be a couple of antenna breaks on the back of the iPhone 6, as revealed in other leaked pictures.
Unscratchable screens would be a huge boon for the iPhone 6, and it looks like this dream might be close to becoming a reality. Apple announced late in 2013 that it was planning to open a sapphire glass manufacturing facility in Arizona, employing 700 people and capable of churning out between 100 million and 200 million iPhone displays each year. The Arizona plant reportedly began shipping sapphire to China for manufacturing in late April.
Shares of GT Advanced Technologies, the company reported to be manufacturing Apple’s new iPhone covers, got a nice boost from reports that sapphire glass will be used for the iPhone 6. Just how resilient is the material? Check out our Q&A on sapphire glass, which includes a video of a concrete block being dragged over a phone screen — with no apparent damage.
While early rumors indicated the iPhone 6 would ditch the bezel altogether in favor of an edge-to-edge display — a way of expanding the screen size without having to drastically enlarge the phone’s footprint — that no longer looks to to be the case. We will, however, likely see a much thinner bezel than on previous devices, in keeping with Apple’s design progression on both iPhone and iPad. Recently leaked images suggest the distance between the Touch ID Home button and screen looks to have been shortened, too.
One victim of the larger size of the iPhone 6 is the on/off switch, which has reportedly been moved from the top of the phone to its side to make it easier to operate with the larger form factor. The twin volume buttons have also supposedly been unified into a single rocker.
It’s almost a given that the iPhone 6 will feature a new, more-advanced camera — although there's been far less of a consensus on what form that camera is likely to take. Some things are known for sure: Apple recently snapped up Nokia’s PureView camera engineer Ari Partinen, although his impact is more likely to be felt on the iPhone 6s or iPhone 7.
Jefferies analyst Peter Misek is one of our favorite Apple analysts in the entire world. Mostly because his Apple predictions are usually horribly wrong.
After the disastrous Apple TV SDK Event rumor he created earlier in the month, Misek is back with a new note to Apple investors, and it’s not a happy one. According to Misek, Apple is about to face a very rough two-year period, and he might actually be right.
I’m excited to announce Cult of Mac’s shiny new audio podcast, The CultCast — made with absolutely 0% child labor!
Why should you listen to The CultCast, you ask? Simply put, it’s the best 30 minute conversation about Apple you’re going to hear all week. Join Leander Kahney, Buster Heine, and me, Erfon Elijah, as we banter about all the most popular Apple news, rumors, and products. Hear the stories behind the stories of our favorite Cult of Mac pieces, and get caught up on all the best things from the world of Apple in a fun, 30 minute chunk each week.
Our maiden CultCast episode will be released Thursday night, but you can subscribe right now on iTunes to make sure you never miss an episode. We’ll have a new CultCast for you every Thursday evening!