Apple Release Roundup: iPhone 6 Phablet, 12-inch MacBook Air Retina, iWatch and Kill Switch

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By Precious Silva | June 30, 2014 8:36 AM EST

Analysts predict that the third quarter of the year will be big for Apple especially with upcoming hardware releases. According to announcements and predictions, the company will be launching the iPhone 6, 2014 MacBook Air and iWatch this September. Apple also indicated that its iOS 8 will debut this fall to run as expected with the new products. Will it be a killer year for the tech giant? 

REUTERS/Robert Galbraith
Apple Inc CEO Tim Cook speaks about the new iPad Air and the iPad mini with Retnia display during an Apple event in San Francisco, California October 22, 2013.

iPhone 6 

The iPhone 6 will be launching this September with two variants: 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch version. According to a report by Bloomberg, Apple's Chinese suppliers have been gearing up to start mass production this July. More importantly, the company has also secured a number of patents hinting at some revolutionary features. 

For instance, Apple cleared a construction process involving sapphire glass and liquidmetal. It also got a patent grant for NFC technology to allow mobile payments. Developers have spotted a new mapping support system that will allow iPhones to provide 3D guided tours in the future. As for supporting evidence about the iPhone 6's release, dummy photos of the two variants have been popping around everywhere. According to Forbes, Gordon Kelly provides a good insight as to why: "Previously Apple has only supplied its most important case partners with dimensions of its new phones ahead of launch, but this time - presumably due to the extensive nature of the changes - the company has given out dummy units and they are popping up everywhere." 

Analysts believe Apple's iPhone 6 phablet version will drive sales and encourage replacement cycle. 

12-inch MacBook Air Retina Air 

Apple Insider reported that supply chain sources in Taiwan have also been preparing for the production of the 12-inch MacBook Air to be released later this year. Taiwanese publication DigiTimes said that Quanta Computer has been preparing for the Q3 production of the computer which starts in July. According to the report, Apple will maintain the design of the MacBook Air only changing its dimensions. The reason or the release is to set the line between the 9.7-inch iPad and the 11-inch MacBook. However, Quanta was also reportedly contracted to produce the 12-inch iPad which defeats the previous purpose. Apple will have to reconcile these approaches although reports indicate the company pushed back the release of the 12-inch tablet. 

Ming-Chi Kuo predicted that Apple will release the 12-inch device later this year supporting new evidence from supply chain sources. 

iWatch and Kill Switch 

According to the Daily Mail, Apple's upcoming iWatch will be monitoring user's sweat and will pack on at least 10 sensors to provide accurate fitness data. More importantly, in an effort to promote its wearable device and fitness approach, Apple will be signing up big names like Kobe Bryant. The basketball star was reportedly spotted in the Cupertino Campus. 

In another report by Daily Mail, Apple's introduction of the "kill switch" has reduced the number of smartphone thefts. According to the report, since the tech giant included the Activation Lock feature under iOS 7, iPhone related robberies dropped significantly, 39% in San Franciso, 24% in London and 17% in New York.

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(Photo: REUTERS/Robert Galbraith / )
Apple Inc CEO Tim Cook speaks about the new iPad Air and the iPad mini with Retnia display during an Apple event in San Francisco, California October 22, 2013.
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