By Jim Karpen on Mon, 08/11/2014
In addition to the rumor last week that the much-anticipated iPhone 6 will be announced September 9, a number of additional details surfaced, nicely summarized by Jonny Evans on the Computerworld website. Macworld UK reported that the new phone will look more like a small version of the iPad mini than the iPhone 5s, with an edge-to-edge display and rounded edges. The narrower bezels means that the screen will be able to be larger without the overall size of the device being proportionately larger than the iPhone 5s. In addition, a leaked photo posted on Cult of Mac suggests the phone will have a protruding camera lens. The implication of this is that the protrusion is necessary to accommodate an even slimmer design. Another leaked photo suggests the phone will have pill-shaped recessed volume buttons. In addition, it appears in one photo that an embedded Apple logo will be made of Liquidmetal.
According to the website VentureBeat, which claims to have a source with knowledge of Apple's plans, the display on the new phone will indeed be harder than the currently used Gorilla Glass, but not as hard as pure sapphire crystal. This squares with the scratch-test video of purported iPhone 6 front panels that I posted about earlier. VerntureBeat's source confirmed that the phone will come with the new A8 chip — and revealed the detail that it will be 2Ghz per core, compared to 1.3Ghz on the iPhone 5s. This will make the device more responsive and much faster at rendering graphics. Both the cellular and WiFi wireless will reportedly be given a boost, with improved LTE capable of 300Mbps and WiFi being upgraded to a faster version of 802.11ac.
VentureBeat also says the phone will include an NFC chip for mobile payments. This is a bit confusing, since Apple seems to be focusing on iBeacon, which is being increasingly adopted and which uses Bluetooth. It had seemed as if this would be Apple's solution to mobile payments.
VentureBeat and other sites are reporting that Touch ID will be improved, which is to be expected. The improvements will speed up read times, increase accuracy, and contribute to greater security. The report on VentureBeat also says something I hadn't heard before: Apple is experimenting with a technology that would allow a "handshake" between the iPhone and Beats headphones in order to authenticate the headphones via the Lightning port.
Sometimes rumored features don't make it into the final production model, and VentureBeat's source wisely cautioned that everything he was passing along was based on current models but that things could change by the time the device goes into full production.
In any case, we'll know in a month what Apple has in store for us. There was even a rumor last week that Apple will announce their wearable device next month.