Though regarded a minor jump from the previous version, the iPhone 5S lured enough buyers that allowed Apple to reclaim the smartphone leadership in October 2013. And with the huge slump being attributed to the Galaxy S4 in the final stretch of last year, analysts are convinced that the tech giant will close out 2013 as number one again.
That same top spot, Apple will not relinquish in 2014 as the company aims to deliver another game-changer in the iPhone 6, which is expected to bring in fresh killer specs and features that would represent a leapfrog from the iPhone 5S.
Four of which are briefly detailed below:
Hardware and software might
In the iPhone 5S, Apple introduced 64-bit computing in mobile devices, which the company said will make its latest smartphone forward-looking. It is expected that the potentials packed in the A7 processing chip will be fully realised in iPhone 6, which reports said will show off an A8 CPU.
Working with iOS 8, Apple watchers believe that the next iPhone will boast of top speed and muscled performance unseen in previous builds; even outmatching the quad-core and 8-core Android flagships (also with 64-bit chips) that are set to debut this year.
The iPhone 6 is touted as Apple's first phablet-size device so it is largely anticipated to sport a screen size bigger than the 4-inch iPhone 5S. Reports vary but Ming-chi Kuo of KGI Securities insists that the next iPhone, even with a larger screen, is optimised for one-hand use. Kuo points to a display panel that is no more than 5-inch that suits with Tim Cook's vision for the upcoming iPhone 6.
As for the overall build, it is definitely a new look for the iPhone 6. Coming from the S release, the device will surely present a whole new design language from Jony Ive, which was the case with the iPhone 5 after the iPhone 4S before it.
Details are sketchy for now but numerous revealed patents from Apple suggest that Liquidmetal and sapphire will come into play in the making of a virtually indestructible iPhone 6 frame, which of course would stun with radical new look as many phone concepts have envisioned in the past months.
The iPhone 5S skipped on many features that Apple fans would have loved the handset to wield and one of them is near-field communication or NFC. The function, which experts said will be useful for quick file-sharing and secured financial transactions, will likely be adopted in the iPhone 6.
Likewise, one popular feature that is becoming a standard on flagship Android devices like the Google Nexus 5 and Samsung Galaxy S4 is wireless charging. With some tweaks, iPhone owners are enjoying this feature but likely no tinkering will be required in the iPhone 6 as the device will likely come out of the box with built-in wireless charging.
Apple decided to stick to 8MP lens in the iPhone 5S, opting instead to shore up the cam capabilities of the device with cool camera software upgrades and a little bit of hardware bumps. But with Samsung and HTC reportedly rolling out killer cam features with the Galaxy S5 and HTC One 2 respectively, the tech giant would be hard-pressed to match the giant leap.
In the numbers showdown, it is quite unlikely that Apple will equal the Galaxy S5's reported main shooter of 16MP. Realistic expectation from the iPhone maker points to a 12MP rear shooter with the killer surprises attached on how the iPhone 6 camera will actually behave - somehow affording professional shooting capabilities to iPhone users.
To contact the editor, e-mail: