When the iPhone 6 is coming is anybody's guess at this time but one thing is sure - Apple is keeping up with its smartphone upgrade cycle so it is fairly certain that a replacement for the already powerful iPhone 5S is arriving in 2014.
The only question is when. Analysts offer varying projections. The touchdown, they said, could happen as early as June of next year. But more predictable is the tech giant would simply abide by its existing iPhone release template - pointing the iPhone 6 release date some time in fall of 2014 or late September to be exact.
However, there are some quarters harbouring the belief that two iPhone builds will be rolled out next year, which is not without basis. Apple proved that is willing and capable to manufacture two iPhone variants in a single calendar year, hence we got the iPhone 5S and the colourful-looking iPhone 5C.
The same model will be followed in 2014 and the claims came from reputable sources like The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg. Both publications lend their names to the whispers that Apple is issuing mobile phones with two different screen sizes - 4.7-inch and 5.7-inch.
These devices, the reports said, are now in the testing phase so the likelihood is they'll be out and functional in the few quarters to come. There were suggestions that the term iPhone 6 will not be used at all, which led to floating of iPhone Air as the possible branding for the iPhone 5S successor.
As for the iPhone 5C, it could end getting a rebrand - iPhone Lite perhaps?
All these wild talks make sense, according to KGI Securities analyst Ming-chi Kuo. But Mr Kuo begs to deviate a bit on the matter of screen size. He is convinced that Apple is not going beyond 5-inch, at least under the watch of Tim Cook.
As everyone knows, the Apple chief executive is laser-focused in ensuring that the Apple screen standard is optimal for one-hand use and free of any technology compromise. The safe bet would be two iOS devices in 4.5-inch and 5-inch screen profiles.
What would be the iPhone Air and iPhone Lite is subject for debate for now.
Yet at least, the supposed killer features of the next iPhones (or iPhones) are supported by patents that Apple recently won and the tech acquisitions that lately have hit the headlines.
In one of the patents, it was alleged that Apple is investigating the possibility of re-focusable cam shooter for the next-gen iPhones and iPads, which is the tech giant's way of improving further on the optical image stabilisation that the Galaxy S5 will reportedly carry with its debut.
Coming from Samsung, the GS5 is touted as the toughest would-be rival of the iPhone 6.
Another premium camera feature is giving the iPhone 6 shooter 3D capabilities, thanks to the PrimeSense buy, that enable users to capture vids and clips in 3D. This cool cam function will be mixed with facial recognition on the front portion, which should bolster the security of iPhone users.
Paired with Touch ID fingerprint scanner that was introduced in the iPhone 5S, the iPhone 6 security protocol promises to be rock solid.
But of course tough on the inside, the next iPhone ought to be tougher on its shell too. The iPhone 6, as patents suggest, will have a Liquidmetal casing, leaving the device nearly indestructible. And to keep the shiny housing free from dents, Apple is reportedly using sapphire glass and coating on the iPhone 6, which is supported by Apple's some $500 million investment on GT Advanced Technologies.
All these features, give and take a few, should be on board for the iPhone 6 2014 release date. And the countdown should start by the end second quarter of the same year.
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