The iPhone 5S has been available for just four days, but we’re already looking ahead to the iPhone 6. It appears Apple has transitioned their yearly iPhone update cycle to September, so that means we should be seeing an all new iPhone in September 2014. Next year will be time for an all new design, as the iPhone 5S maintained the external design of the iPhone 5, while offering the new twice as fast A7 processor, improved camera capabilities, and Touch ID fingerprint sensor. That means Apple’s major focus for the iPhone 6 will be the look and feel, and Apple probably already has a number of design mock-ups.
The big change is likely a new screen size yet again, building upon the changes that Apple made with the iPhone 5. Apple transitioned to a 16:9 aspect ratio for true widescreen, and now it’s time to take the aspect ratio from 1136 x 640 to the industry standard of 1920 x 1080. At the same time, Apple can increase the size of the display from 3.5” x 2” to 4.1” x 2.3” to create a 4.7” diagonal screen size, up from the current 4”. The proportions would all be the same, but with a higher resolution pushing the pixels per inch from 326 to 468. Apple doesn’t want the form factor to increase too much, so Apple could have an edge to edge display to minimize the width increase of the overall device to just 0.2”, as the current iPhone has an eighth inch bezel on each side. In terms of height, Apple still needs room for the home button on the bottom, and earpiece and FaceTime camera on the top, but again they have an eighth inch to work with on each side of the home button, and above and below the earpiece and front facing camera. Apple could theoretically increase the screen size by a half inch, without increasing the device height, and if they do need to, it would be marginal.
Apple wants to maintain the current footprint of the iPhone, but they could offer a relatively close alternative with a considerably larger screen. The iPhone 6 will be an engineering feat as usual for Apple, and they could feasibly offer a device just a quarter inch wider and taller, while offering 35% more screen area, and at a higher ppi. The subtle increase in the device’s size could allow Apple to maintain the super thin, and light design of the iPhone 5 with the same thickness, or thinness if you will. Apple currently uses a two-tone back on the iPhone 5S/5 with white and black windows on the top and bottom of the back. Depending on the popularity of the iPhone 5C, Apple could use similar colorful polycarbonate real shells that are reinforced with a steel frame for the iPhone 6. On the flip side, Apple could make an iPhone 6C with iPhone 5S internals, to save the colorful plastic rear shells for that line. The iPhone 6 could maintain the premium aluminum fit and finish of the iPhone 5S/5, but make a single rear back piece. It really depends on if the iPhone 6C will exist, or not.
Of course, there will be a new A8 64-bit chip building upon the super powerful just released 64-bit A7 chip. The A8 could go quad core to offer significant processor gains depending on how Apple allocates resources to emphasize multi-threaded tasks. The camera will likely get a boost as well to build upon the new 5S camera system to maintain the bigger pixels, True Tone flash system, and larger aperture with some refinements. Apple could go with 10 or 12 megapixels, but it would seem that the focus would be on an even better camera sensor in that slim package, and maybe even a new way to zoom. Then, there will also be iOS 8 to add numerous features upon the all new beginning that is iOS 7.
The iPhone 6 is set to be Apple’s biggest iPhone to date subtly enhancing the internals, while making a splash with an all new look that includes a considerably larger screen, with just a subtly larger overall device.