Apple will be releasing their June quarterly earnings report tomorrow after the market closes, and will be answering questions from investors. Of course, investors are eager to know how Apple did, and expectations for this quarter are fairly high. But even more important for many is the guidance Apple will give regarding the September quarter. Wall Street always wants to know not only how Apple did, but how it expects to do in the coming quarter. And if, as everyone is expecting, Apple begins selling the iPhone 6 in September, that will certainly affect Apple's earnings forecast for the September quarter. So Apple's guidance should give a clue regarding what we'll see and when. Of course, Apple never explicitly says what's coming. If the guidance is especially high, it could mean we'll get something in addition to the iPhone 6 before the end of September.
Apple's main competitor these days seems not to be other phones but rather the high expectations created by the rumor mill. I'm among those who've stoked the expectation for a sapphire display on the iPhone 6. But the latest scratch test of an alleged iPhone 6 front panel reveals that it's not pure sapphire but likely has a sapphire composite laminate on the display. As the test shows, it's definitely harder and more scratch-resistant than Gorilla Glass but not as hard as the pure sapphire used in the Home button. Marques Brownlee, whose earlier scratch-test video I covered in this post, explains in his newest video (embedded below) the Mohs scale of mineral hardness. Minerals are rated on a scale of 1 to 10, with diamond being the hardest at 10. Simply, any mineral on the scale can scratch minerals rated below it but not anything rated above it. Gorilla Glass comes in at 6.8 on the scale. Sapphire is 9. The only thing that should be able to scratch sapphire should be diamond. But in his test he shows how both garnet sandpaper (rated 7) and emery sandpaper (rated 8) can scratch the iPhone 6 front panel, suggesting it's not pure sapphire.
Two rumors courtesy of a report in Taiwan's Economic News Daily indicate that Apple is ramping up to begin production of the iPhone 6. According to the report, mass production of the 4.7-inch phone will begin this month (specifically, the third week of July), with mass production of the 5.5-inch phone expected to begin in August.
Since the iPhone 6 is expected to have a larger, 4.7-inch display, naturally it will need a battery with greater capacity. The question is how much larger the capacity will be. The iPhone 5s has a capacity of 1,570 mAh, and an earlier rumor pegged the iPhone 6 battery at between 1,800 and 1,900 mAh. Now the French site Nowhereelse.fr has posted photos of a battery alleged to be from an iPhone 6. The photo shows the battery has a rating of 1,810 mAh.
Yet more evidence that Apple is gearing up to begin manufacturing the iPhone 6 is the appearance online of a photo said to be the Touch ID sensor that will be used in the new phone.
According to the website Stuff, Amazon Japan inadvertently posted a listing for the iPhone 6. It appeared to confirm we'll be seeing a 4.7-inch iPhone, but there was no mention of a 5.5-inch size. The listing said it would be available in Japan on September 30. And it gave the dimensions of 130 x 65 x 7mm, which compares to the iPhone 5s specs of 123.8 x 58.6 x 7.6mm. So apparently the new phone will be even thinner than the iPhone 5s. In addition, the weight was listed as 113g, compared to 112g for the iPhone 5s. The listing also suggests the phone will be getting a price boost.
According to AppleInsider, market analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who typically has pretty good inside information about forthcoming products and the timing of their release, issued a note to investors over the weekend saying that production issues facing the rumored 5.5-inch iPhone may cause it to be delayed—until 2015, or in a best-case scenario, late November.
As discovered by AppleInsider, Apple appears to be using an eBay storefront to help move inventory of factory-refurbished, unlocked, GSM iPhone 5 models with a one-year warranty. AppleInsider refers to it as a "secret" outlet, since there's no indication that it's an official Apple store.
Everyone seems to have an iPhone 6 front panel these days, and the latest sport is seeing if you can damage it. A recent video (embedded below) posted by a Hong Kong website tried burning it, breaking it, pounding a nail through it, and more. Nothing would mar the surface. Until they finally ran over it with a 1.6-ton car. Again, there's no way of knowing whether Apple is actually going to use sapphire crystal for the front panel of the iPhone 6. But if they do, it's going to be awesome. And the evidence continues to mount.