Among the rumoured killer features of the iPhone 6 on its release date this 2014, a premium music streaming service and a scratch-free housing for the device have emerged this week with near confirmation.
That Apple plans a different flavour of music offering for its OS X and iOS devices soon is revealed by its admission of acquiring Beats Electronics and Beats Music to the tune of $3 billion, described by market watchers as the priciest acquisition move that originated ever from Cupertino, California.
According to Apple Insider, Apple CEO Tim Cook regards the takeover of the firm founded by hip-hop icon Dr Dre and Jimmy Iovine as a head-start for the company. Beats Music, in particular, will fuel further expansion of the music-centric offerings already found on iTunes.
The service is described by Business Insider as "a subscription streaming music service that focuses on providing a personalized music experience for each user through a unique blend of digital innovation and musical passion."
"Beats Music delivers the right music for any situation, any time, and any preference, personalized to your tastes," added the same report in explaining the uniqueness of the new addition to the Apple product portfolio that supposedly will be the one of the highlights of upcoming iPhone 6 features.
"We get a subscription music service that we believe is the first subscription service that really got it right," the Apple chief executive was reported by Apple Insider as saying in a press statement.
Although the iPhone maker has clearly indicated that Beats Music will remain an independent entity within Apple, its integration with the company's tightly-organised ecosystem will eventually lead to the service bumping off iTunes Radio, according to Apple observers.
As pointed out by Apple Insider, iTunes Radio remains a laggard compared to the likes of Spotify and Pandora so the music streaming service eventually making way for Beats Music on iPhones, iPads, iPods and Mac computers will not come as a surprise at all.
And as Dr Dre and Iovine are lined up to become Apple employees soon, sapphire increasingly appears as a crucial part of the next iPhone roll out.
In a report, CNET said that known Apple sapphire partner, GT Advanced Technologies has ramped up its production capacity by five times in April coming from March 2014, signalling that sapphire is well en route to end up in one or two Apple devices.
Analysts have long been touting that Apple will upgrade its sapphire use first seen in the iPhone 5 and iPhone 5S by likely wrapping two gadgets - the iPhone 6 or the rumoured iWatch or both - with the material and make them resistant from nicks and scruffs.
"GT had a very successful month of April at its Arizona sapphire fab and estimate it shipped about 1 million two-inch equivalents of sapphire to one of Apple's cover screen suppliers," CNET quoted a new research note that UBS Securities has issued.
The tech site also reiterated the earlier assumptions that with sapphire on iPhone 6, a 5.5-inch version of the device is virtually confirmed. It is suggested too that the first Apple phablet will be launched as the iPhone Air.
Release date of the iPhone Air is not expected until December this year while the regular-size iPhone 6, or the 4.7-inch edition, is said to come out as early as Sept 19 2014.