Apple sent out invitations today to an event to be held September 9, as was rumored. Not only is everyone expecting Apple to announce the iPhone 6, but also, according to the well-connected website Re/code, they will be introducing a wearable device. The invitation simply gives the date and, as usual, is very cryptic, saying only "Wish we could say more." If Apple follows their typical schedule, the new iPhone 6 will go on sale September 19. The event will be held at the Flint Center for the Performing Arts in Cupertino, which is three times larger and closer to Apple's headquarters than the usual venue at the Yerba Buena Center in San Francisco. Not only that, but according to iMore, Apple is constructing a large, three-storey building next the Flint Center in advance of the event. And everyone is tight-lipped about what purpose it will serve.
All of this is exciting — that the date is finally official, and that Apple seems to be planning something big.
Citing unnamed sources, Bloomberg reported Tuesday that Apple is already preparing to manufacture a 12.9-inch iPad that's slated to come out in early 2015. Production will begin in the first quarter. The report says that Apple has been working with their suppliers for at least a year on a range of larger touch-screen devices. This new iPad would give the line three different sizes: 7.9 inches, 9.7 inches, and 12.9 inches.
While we've seen a lot of images online of parts purported to be for the 4.7-inch iPhone, there haven't been any glimpses of the 5.5-inch phone—until now. Posted on the website Evasion Jailbreak, the images show the back shell of the forthcoming 5.5-inch phone compared to a similar part from the 4.7-inch phone.
Today Walmart began offering a dicount on the iPhone 5s and 5c, likely intended to clear out inventory in advance of the anticipated September 9 announcement of the iPhone 6.
For the first time, photos of an assembled iPhone 6 chassis have appeared online, giving a glimpse of what the forthcoming 4.7-inch iPhone 6 will look like. As can be seen on MacRumors, the images purport to show the rear shell and front panel assembled, but not a working iPhone. Rumors have said the styling would have rounded edges similar to the current iPad models, and that's clearly visible in the images. They also give a good feeling for how thin the device will be. Other rumored details apparently confirmed by the images include pill-shaped volume buttons, redesigned speaker holes, a relocated power button, and an embedded Apple logo.
Cult of Mac is reporting on a post on the Chinese website Geek Bar that says the iPhone 6 will come with a new version of Qualcomm's LTE chip that will allow for data speeds up to 150Mbps, compared to 100Mbps on the iPhone 5s.
Excitement is building toward September 9, when Apple is expected to announce the iPhone 6. Rumors continue to swirl in the blogosphere regarding details of the new device. According to a post on AppleInsider, a newly leaked document suggests the A8 chip will have 1 GB of RAM, the size that Apple has been using since 2012 and that's smaller than competing Android phones. The post explains the tradeoff: more RAM would be nice but it also reduces battery life. The downside of less RAM is that iOS closes background tasks and refreshes tabs in Safari. For its part, Apple never divulges how much RAM a device has. [Update: blogs are now saying that the leaked document that suggested 1GB was misinterpreted and actually was referring to a component other than the A8 processor.]
One of the biggest question marks surrounding the iPhone 6 is whether it will use a sapphire crystal display or a sapphire laminate. Thursday's Wall Street Journal reported that the material isn't quite ready and that if it's used, it will only be in high-end versions of both the 4.7- and 5.5-inch phones. Citing sources "familiar with the matter," the Journal says that it simply depends on whether enough sapphire can be manufactured.
It's now less than a month until the rumored September 9 announcement of the iPhone 6, and photos of parts have appeared online. Notably, the Taiwanese blog AppleClub has posted photos of the front screen assembly. We had already seen photos and videos of the front glass, but this is the first time photos have been posted of the glass mounted in its casing. The photos show both the outside and inside of this front assembly. There's no way to tell the exact size, but it's clearly larger than the iPhone 5s, and likely has the rumored 4.7-inch display.
On Wednesday, AT&T stores began a limited-time offer of a $200 discount on iPads if you buy an iPhone 5s or 5c on their installment plan and sign up for a two-year data contract for the iPad. Of course, you'll want to take into account that the iPhone 6 is expected to be announced next month. If you really want an iPad and will be happy with a current iPhone, then it seems like a good deal. AT&T is likely offering this deal to clear out inventory and to increase the number of iPad users subscribing to their data services. Note that this only applies to a purchase of a cellular data iPad, which costs an additional $130 over the WiFi model.