Another research note by analyst Ming Chi-Kuo of KGI Securities claims Apple will move its sleep/wake button on the iPhone 6 to the side because of usability issues. The 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch sizes we’ve been hearing about have presented issues with one-handed operation, which has lead to a small design change common in most Android devices. Current Apple devices, from the iPhone up to the iPad Air, have the sleep/wake button placed on the top right of the device.
Kuo also provides some possible specs: the 4.7-inch iPhone will allegedly come with a resolution of 1334×750 (326ppi), while the 5.5-inch iteration will sport a 1920×1080 resolution (401ppi). Additional specs include an A8 processor—same as the rumored processor for the next iPad—1GB of RAM, a thickness of 6.5-7mm, NFC and a significantly reduced bezel. Kuo also claims Apple could keep the same 8-megapixel camera, but add optical image stabilization, which is a rumor we’ve heard before, effectively improving image quality without increasing megapixel count.
Curiously, Kuo claims that only the highest end iPhone 6, the 5.5-inch 64GB version, will come equipped with sapphire glass because of supply constraints. However, we’ve heard that Apple is already prepared to use sapphire in its handsets, so that aspect of Kuo’s research note is conflicting with that we’ve heard previously. Kuo does say that Apple’s eventual plan is to integrate TouchID right into the iPhone’s display, but it doesn’t appear that will happen in the iPhone 6—perhaps that’ll be a feature designated for the iPhone 6s (or whatever it’ll be called).
Apple has acknowledged that it needs to go bigger if it wants to stay competitive, and all the rumors suggest the iPhone 6 will indeed be the company’s entrance into the phablet market. Whether the market will be receptive to the change is another matter. We think Apple can definitely compete, but it will certainly be a big period of adjustment when/if it happens later this year. If Apple does go bigger, we could see the 4.7-inch iPhone hit sometime this September/October, with the 5.5-inch version to follow later in the winter.