iPhone 6 technology rumours

Read on for rumours about the technology you can expect to find inside the iPhone 6 when it launches later this year, including a new camera, wireless charging capabilities, improved Touch ID and more. You'll also find price rumours on this page. If you're looking for other information about the iPhone 6, follow the links below.

iPhone 6 release date
iPhone 6 display rumours
iPhone 6 design rumours
iPhone 6 size rumours
iPhone 6 tech specs & new features
iPhone 6 price
iPhone 6 leaked images & concept mockups
iPhone 6 rumours that aren't so convincing

iPhone 6 rumours: 128GB model

We've heard rumours about a 128GB iPhone 6, but apparently that option will only be available for the 5.5in device, rather than the 4.7in iPhone we've been hearing about.

Chinese Apple blog Feng.com claims to have spoken to sources familiar with Apple's supply chain, who say that the 4.7in iPhone 6 will have a maximum capacity of 64GB, while the alleged 'iPhablet' will have an addition 128GB model.

iPhone 6 rumours: Wi-Fi chip

Apple's next iPhone is rumoured to have faster Wi-Fi than ever before thanks to a new chip from Broadcom.

Broadcom has announced a new 5G 802.11ac WiFi chip which may be used in the iPhone 6. Apple has traditionally used Broadcom chips so the continued relationship looks likely.

According to Broadcom, the new chip should improve range and performance in congested environments, increase Wi-Fi coverage by up to 30%, and improved power efficiency. It will also offer 2x2 Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO), which means that Apple will be able to choose between several antennas for sending and receiving data, therefore obtaining the best signal. More information here.

iPhone 6 baseband chips

Rumours claim that Apple is working on its own baseband chips for the iPhone 6 as part of its strategy to bring its manufacturing processes in house. (The baseband chip manages the radio functions - all functions that require an antenna - although it may not include Wi-Fi or Bluetooth). Currently the chips are supplied by Qualcomm.

However, the chips may not ship until 2015, so it seems likely that they will not appear in the iPhone 6, which we expect to ship in 2014. 

iPhone 6 rumours: Wireless charging, battery improvements

Frustrated by the ever-decreasing battery life offered by your current iPhone? One day you may be able to fully charge an iPhone in less than a one minute, or even charge it wirelessly. Unfortunately the iPhone 6 is unlikely to sport these new technologies.

There have been rumours that Apple could be planning to introduce wireless charging to its iPhone 6, though, following in the footsteps of Nokia, LG and HTC. The Broadcom chipset mentioned above may make this possbile: Business Insider even suggests that the new Broadcom chip could bring wireless charging to the iPhone 6. There's a version of the BCM4354 that supports the Alliance for Wireless Power's "Rezence" wireless charging standard, claims that report.

Plus, according a DigiTimes report that emerged in March, the iPhone 6's battery could be assembled on a fully automated production line in China, replacing humans with robots in the manufacturing process.

Another new battery tech that could find its way to the iPhone would allow the phone to charge up incredibly quickly too. According to a report on Cult of Mac, by 2017 your iPhone could completely charge from 0% to 100% in just 5 minutes. The technology from StoreDot was demonstrated at Microsoft’s Think Next Conference. The company claims to have found a way to blast energy at a battery and not have to slow down as it nears capacity – something that is impossible at the moment and the reason why the last 20% of charging takes longer than the first 80%.

According to The Daily Mail, Apple is working closely with British fuel-cell firm Intelligent Energy to bring week-long battery life to the iPhone 6.

The battery could also be just 2mm thick, claims Digitimes. That's thinner than the iPhone 5S's 3mm battery. The thinner battery could be causing yield problems, though, according to the report. 

Photos of the iPhone 6's battery appeared on Nowhereelse.fr this month, showing a battery with a capacity of 1,810 mAh, a slight improvement over the 1,560 mAh battery found in the iPhone 5s.

iPhone 6 rumours: Camera

The iPhone 6 could have a 10-megapixel camera with a f/1.8 aperture and an improved filter, according to sources from Taiwan cited in a report from Chinese website IT168.

Apple's iPhone 5s has an 8-megapixel camera with an f/2.2 aperture, so it would be a considerable upgrade to the iPhone's camera should the rumours be true.

However, it's also recently been reported that the iPhone 6 will sport an 8-megapixel like its predecessor, as opposed to a 13- or 16-megapixel camera like some of its rivals (the Nokia Lumia 1020 actually boasts a 41-megapixel camera).

Instead, Apple is expected to focus on camera improvements in other areas, rather than upping the pixels. This could include better image stabilisation, according to The China Post.

Sources cited by Apple Insider have stated that Apple is indeed likely to stay out of the mega-pixel race with the iPhone 6 camera, instead focusing on tweaking other image-enhancing components to improve the quality of photographs.

The iPhone camera and the megapixel myth

This rumour was reiterated in March when a rumour originating on Weibo claimed the iPhone 6 would keep the 8-megapixel rear camera but boost the aperture to f/2.0.

The iPhone 6 could also have Optical Image Stabilisation, if a recently published Apple patent filing is anything to go by. The patent application, titled "VCM OIS actuator module" details Apple's interest in the camera feature that would help with focusing of images in future iPhones.

It's not only the rear-facing camera that might get an update, Sony is said to be providing the front-facing and rear-facing camera sensors for the next iPhone. Previously the front facing Facetime camera was provided by Omnivision and was just 1.2 megapixels (Sony has provided the rear-facing camera since the iPhone 4s.) This rumour was reiterated by Korea Herald in February.

A slightly less believable rumour about the iPhone 6 camera but still largely possible is that the iPhone 6 will have a detatchable lens. This rumour is based on several Apple patents that describe such technology, each of which explores different ways to attach camera lenses to the iPhone 6 including using magnets and a bayonet attachment mechanism.

In addition to the rumours that the 5.5in iPhone 6 will have a 128GB version while the 4.7in model will not, new rumours say that the 4.7in iPhone 6 will also miss out on optical image stabilisation.

That's according to KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who says that the 4.7in iPhone's camera will still be better than the current one found in the iPhone 5s, and will be a solid rival to Android and Windows Phone competitors. 

Further rumours about the iPhone 6's camera have emerged on a Chinese forum, claiming that the next iPhone's camera will be 13Mp, and will use a Sony Exymor IMX220 sensor.

iPhone 6 rumours: Home button & Touch ID 

There were several rumours that claim the Home button on the new iPhone 6 will be removed, but we're pretty certain this isn't going to happen, especially following Apple's WWDC 2014 announcements about the TouchID. The company is expanding the use of the fingerprint sensor to allow developers to use it for their apps, so we can expect a lot more secure apps in the future when iOS 8 arrives.

iPhone 5s Touch ID fingerprint scanner

The display could become one giant Touch ID sensor in the iPhone 6, though. Apple filed a patent back in January 2013 that outlined a method for including the fingerprint scanner into a display.

So, while it is highly improbable that the Home button will be removed, there is a possibility that the home button will be replaced with multi-gesture touch support at the bottom of the phone. Additionally, it is rumoured that the bottom left and right portions of the screen will also be “tappable”, and will be used, for example, to switch between tabs in Safari. It will also be beneficial for app developers who will be able to customise these buttons for their apps. 

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) is believed to have supplied Apple with the first batch of Touch ID fingerprint sensors in May, ready for next generations devices including the iPhone 6 and perhaps even the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3.

Apple is apparently working to make the Touch ID fingerprint sensor more durable, according to China Times.

iPhone 6: A8 processor

The iPhone 5s boasts a powerful A7 processor, but if Apple sticks to its traditional iPhone update behaviour the iPhone 6 will be even more powerful, with an A8 chip. Most reports and speculation agree that an A8 chip is on its way, but as the A7 chip is already so powerful it's unlikely we'll notice much of a difference in day-to-day use.

DigiTimes that claims Apple has placed packaging orders for its A8 processors with four different semiconductor product-packaging companies. The report also claims that TSMC has secured wafer bumping and foundry orders for the processor, and is expected to ramp up production of the chips using a 20nm process technology in the second quarter of 2014.

The A8 chip has hit the headlines recently, with reports suggesting that TSMC has been approached by Apple to manufacture the iPhone 6's processor after Samsung struggled with low yields of the chip. Previously, Samsung has been the sole manufacturer of Apple's processors, but rivalry between the two companies is said to have put a strain on the relationship so Apple has been forced to look elsewhere for a chip manufacturer.

In March, further rumours about the partnership between Apple and TSMC arrived, claiming that the Taiwanese chip maker has already begun producing quad-core A8 chips for the iPhone 6.

Rumours that emerged mid-way through March from sometimes accurate Sonny Dickson suggested that the iPhone 6's A8 chip will have a clock speed of 2.6GHz. Dickson also says the iPhone will be 0.22 inches thick compared with the 0.30 inches of the iPhone 5s.

iPhone 6: iOS 8

Apple's iPhone 6 is likely to run iOS 8, the new version of Apple's mobile operating system that was unveiled on 2 June at WWDC 2014. You can find out everything you need to know about iOS 8 here, but the highlights include a new 'HealthKit' service, improvements to Notifications, Messages and more, and a slew of new features that'll mean our apps can communicate like never before.

iPhone 6 could have NFC

A patent published by the US Patent & Trademark Office suggested that Near Field Communication (NFC) technology could arrive with a future iPhone. The patent describes an iWallet transaction system that could work with the technology.

The US Patent and Trademark published another new Apple NFC technology patent application in May, covering a range of features including a new focus on methods and systems for establishing an NFC session with an electronic device.

Ming-Chi Kuo thinks NFC is on its way with the iPhone 6, too.

Morgan Stanley analyst Craig Hettenbach suggests that Apple is finally ready to introduce NFC to the iPhone this year, as part of a push to improve the mobile payments industry, according to MacRumors. Semiconductor company NXP is rumoured to be the supplier of the NFC hardware for Apple, as it already supplies the M7 chip found in the iPhone 5S.

"NXP is well positioned to participate in Apple's mobile payments ecosystem," said Hettenbach. "The company signed a licensing agreement with a customer in Q4'13, who we believe is Apple, related to its emerging ID business."

Apple watchers had been expecting NFC to arrive in the iPhone since as far back as the iPhone 4, though, so we're not sure whether Apple is convinced that the technology is worth pursuing just yet.

Reports that arrived at the end of July suggest that Apple is in talks with partner companies to launch a mobile payments system that challenges Google Wallet alongside the iPhone 6 in September. Apparently, Apple is talking with credit card company Visa about the system.

Photographs that emerged from China in July appear to show a logic board for Apple's iPhone 6, seemingly revealing that the device will have support for 802.11ac WiFi and NFC.

The photos were published by French site Nowhereelse.fr on 26 July, sent in by a "particularly reliable" Chinese source.

iPhone 6 price

How much will the iPhone 6 cost?

There's no solid evidence to suggest a price for the iPhone 6. However, we'd expect it to sell at a similar price point as the iPhone 5s, which starts at £549.

However, a somewhat suspicious report from InfoTales suggests that the iPhone 6's price tag could be $50 to $100 higher due to a larger screen. Susquehanna International Group analyst Chris Caso believes that Apple could "get away with" increasing the price of the iPhone because Samsung's Galaxy S series is now in the same price bracket.

In April, Jefferies analyst Peter Misek suggested that Apple plans to increase the price of the iPhone by $100 with the iPhone 6. "Apple has started negotiating with carriers on a $100 iPhone 6 price increase," Misek said, according to Investors.com. "There seems to be an admission that there is no other game-changing device this year. We think Apple might be able to get at least some of the increase, with the additional costs split between the carrier and consumer."

Either way, it's thought that the iPhone 6 will be the biggest iPhone launch ever, according to analyst Wei Chen from Citigroup Global Markets. According to Chen, Apple is preparing to build 90 million iPhone 6 handsets.

Analyst Brian Marshall of ISI Group also thinks the iPhone 6 could be a monumental moment for Apple, suggesting that an iPhone with a screen size of around 5in will bring the "motherlode of all upgrade cycles" encouraging large numbers of Android users to make the switch to iPhone.

Find your way to the information you're after by following these links:

iPhone 6 release date
iPhone 6 display rumours
iPhone 6 design rumours
iPhone 6 size rumours
iPhone 6 tech specs & new features
iPhone 6 price
iPhone 6 leaked images & concept mockups
iPhone 6 rumours that aren't so convincing

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