This early, Apple fans are excited to get hold of the rumoured phablet-size iPhone 6 and the loads of killer features that the handset will introduce in battling its Android and Windows rivals.
Recent reports from Asian suppliers of the tech giant hinted of the mobile phone's fresh build and capabilities while newly-published patents and job postings from Apple added to the mix of feature speculations.
Sapphire-protected front glass
First on the list is the supposed new material that will be added to the iPhone 2014 edition. According to DigiTimes, Apple is likely to employ sapphire-coated glass cover for the iOS 7 smartphone build next year, which analysts believe will be called the iPhone 6.
The tech giant, the Taiwanese publication said, is adopting sapphire "for making touch screen covers for its new iPhone to be launched in 2014."
DigiTimes pointed to sapphire producers as the source of its information.
The same report noted that the iPhone maker has an existing patent application "concerning high-temperature lamination of sapphire layers." Apart from this, sapphire is already in the company's supply chain, used first as a camera lens protector for the iPhone 5 and a robust coating for the revised Home button in iPhone 5S.
The plan appears to be solid at this stage though Apple remains concerned on the reported higher cost of using the material, which the report said is about five times pricier than Corning Gorilla Glass cover.
Unlimited solar energy for the iPhone 6
And to further strengthen the belief that the iPhone 6 will surely bring out cutting-edge technologies for Apple, the tech titan was recently reported hunting for an engineer that likely work on its 2014 gadget lineup.
This manufacturing specialist, according to Apple Insider, must be skilled in "thin films experience as applied to semiconductor or solar manufacturing."
"Applicants are asked to have experience in sputtering, vacuum evaporation, electroplating and other technologies commonly associated with disposing thin-films on circuitry," said the same report.
If indeed Apple is investigating the possibility of deploying solar-powered devices in the near future, with the iPhone 6 as one of the early beneficiary of the technology, the job listing seems in conjunction with the company's pre-published patents on the same subject.
Apple is thought to be working on electrodes that will be fitted on a device display, acting as receptacles for sunlight and capacitive touch sensors at the same time, Apple Insider said.
Wireless charging system
If solar energy in a mobile device failed to make it in time for the iPhone 6 2014 release date, Apple is lining up the next best thing - wireless charging. In a new patent published by Patently Apple, the company is revealed to be developing "a system, method, and apparatus for wirelessly providing power from a wireless power supply to any of a plurality of peripheral devices."
In one of the technology's numerous applications, "a wireless power supply will be able to be used to provide power wirelessly to various electronic devices such as and iPhone that includes a portable power supply for mobile operation."
The patent filing revealed too that Apple has been working on the system since 2011, which should give ample time for the tech giant to formally introduce wireless charging within the iOS environment. Android device users have been enjoying the technology for a number of years now.
The iPhone 6 release date is supposed to take place on the first half of 2014, with some analysts convinced that Apple is planning to issue the large-screen device between January and March of the same year.
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