2014’s most-awaited smartphone: The iPhone 6

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Image source: http://www.macrumors.com/roundup/iphone-6/

2014 marks the advent of five major smartphones that may redefine the benchmarks for the industry. These are the Samsung Galaxy S5, the Sony Xperia Z2 and the HTC One M8, the Nexus 6 and the iPhone 6. Samsung made waves with the release of the S5 on April 11, and the Z2 and the M8 are the best models yet of Sony’s Xperia Z and HTC’s One series, respectively. Considering the triumph of the Nexus 5, Android fans are eagerly awaiting Google new flagship phone. But there’s little doubt that the showstopper of the year promises to be the iPhone 6.

Apple has reluctantly followed in the footsteps of its competitors in introducing phones with bigger screens, making the iPhone 4 with a 4-inch screen long after competitors like Samsung, LG, Sony, HTC and others had already made phones with larger screens and were regularly coming out with phablet models. This year, the mobile industry is expecting Apple to pay attention to the demands of the segment of smartphone users that like phones with large screens. Two versions of the iPhone 6 are expected to hit stores, one during September, and the other towards the end of the year. The earlier version is expected to be the one with the smaller screen, of around 4.7 inches, while the latter version is the one with the bigger screen size of 5.5 inches. This marks a major change in Apple’s philosophy, which had hitherto been along the lines of Henry Ford’s famous statement, ‘The customer can have a Ford car in any colour as long as it is black.’

Screen

The 4.7 inch screen is expected to have a screen resolution of 1920×1080 while the 5.5 inch screen is expected to have a resolution of 2272×1280. The iPhone 5 models use Low Temperature Poly Silicon (LTPS) and Apple is likely to continue using this technology in the models of the iPhone 6. One major change that is expected for the screen is the switch from the tough Corning Gorilla Glass to sapphire crystal, the element used in the manufacture of the iPhone camera lens as well as the home button of the iPhone 5S. Traditionally, sapphire crystal has been very expensive to manufacture, but Apple has teamed up with a company called GT Advanced to manufacture this tough material in large quantities at lower prices so as to be able to use it in the production of the entire body of its devices. Currently, GT Advanced’s Mesa, AZ, sapphire plant can product up to 200 million sapphire displays, which are enough for Apple’s entire line of devices.

Design

Although initial rumours suggested that the iPhone 6 might have a curved screen, recent ones suggest that the display would remain flat, as in the case of the iPhone 5S. It has also been suggested that the design of the new iPhones will takes cues from the iPad Air and the iPad Mini, and thus have rounded corners. Also, there may be no bezels; instead the glass of the screen is expected to curve downward at the edges. This would increase the size of the display without making the overall chassis of the phone bigger.

Processor

The new 20-nanometer A8 processor, though not a revolutionary upgrade from the current A7 processor that powers the latest iPhones and iPads, will be smaller and more energy efficient. The A8 chip is expected to include both a quad-core 64-bit processor as well as quad-core graphics and will contain 1GB of RAM, the same as its predecessor.

Camera

The iPhone 6 is expected to use an 8 MP camera, similar to the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C, but improvements will be added in the form of increased pixel size, a larger aperture, a ‘True Tone’ dual-LED flash, optical image stabilization (OIS), among others.

Other features

The Touch ID fingerprint sensor currently available in the iPhone 5S is expected to feature on the iPhone 6 as well, and there are also expectations of the phone featuring sensors for pressure, temperature and humidity. The phone may also support the 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard, also known as ‘Gigabit’, which offers speeds upto three times more than existing 802.11 wireless networks, possessing the capability of reaching speeds as high as 1Gbps

It is rumoured that Apple may introduce two variations of each of the two large sized devices, as in the case of the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C, allowing it to offer a full-priced flagship device, a mid-tier device, and previous generation devices at lower costs. Apple is expected to sell more than 90 million units of the iPhone 6 worldwide, for 2014, which would mean immense work for its manufacturing partner, Foxconn. This might well be the biggest iPhone launch ever. We can’t wait!

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