The date's been set: We're going to learn all about Apple's latest iPhone on September 9th. We discovered that date earlier this week, and without a delay, speculation around the Web ran rampant. We can't state with absolute certainty what's going to be coming, but we sure can talk about the rumors that surround it.
Those planning to jump on the iPhone 6 right away should bear this reported issue in mind: The 5.5-inch model is not supposed to ship until about a month after the 4.7-inch model becomes available. That would no doubt be painful for those who hoped to jump on that size right at the iPhone 6 launch. There's been no mention of the "whys", but we can assume that Apple shifted most of its production focus on the 4.7-inch model, as it could expect that one to be the more popular choice (and it'd probably be correct). If this all proves true, it may mean that Apple won't even unveil the 5.5-inch model at this September 9th event.
In the above mentioned post from earlier this week, I said that the iPhone 6 is likely to introduce a new SoC, although I didn't jump to conclusions and say that it would be a new major model. Well, word on the street is that it will be. According to sources close to VentureBeat, it'll be called the Apple A8 (no surprise there), and will be clocked at 2.0GHz - a massive gain over the iPhone 5s' 1.3GHz A7. What we're able to glean from this is that the A8 will help the iPhone be more responsive than ever, as well as deliver the most compelling GPU capabilities we've seen to date on any mobile device from Apple.
On the wireless front, it's being claimed that Apple's chosen a Broadcom solution, giving the iPhone 6 full 802.11ac Wi-Fi support. For cellular, there's been whispers that Qualcomm's MDM9x35 has been brought in, supporting Category 6 LTE - which is able to reach staggering speeds of 300Mbps (37.5MB/s).
Purported pre-release iPhone 6s (Credit: Sonny Dickson)
Given that the iPhone 6 will likely be a high-end device, it's no surprise to see these rumors discuss high-end wireless capabilities, but there's another report that makes things really interesting: There's a spot in the hardware that allows for an NFC chip to be installed. Like Blu-ray, Apple has famously avoided introducing NFC into its mobile devices even though its competition did long ago. That being the case, it almost seems unlikely that we'll see NFC in the retail phones, but this is the same company that's opened OS X betas to the public - perhaps this is just another sign that things have changed within the company.
Sapphire glass has been a term floating around with the iPhone 6 name attached to it like glue, but another rumor is now saying that the phone will be shipping with glass harder than Gorilla Glass, but softer than sapphire. One thing we can be sure of is, whatever glass ships with the unit, it's going to be thoroughly tested by someone on YouTube who's not ashamed to sacrifice a unit.
One certainty: iPhone 6 will ship with iOS 8
Other speculation is much smaller in nature, such as the fact that the iPhone 6 is said to offer better battery-life than the previous generation, and that it'll feature a unibody metal chassis. There's also a little fun claim that says after having stuck with 8 megapixel camera sensors for so long, the iPhone 6 will bump things to 13 megapixel.
One of the stranger reports is that the iPhone 6 might be able to take advantage of headphones equipped with a Lightning connector. I can't for the life of me imagine purchasing headphones that have a proprietary connector, but this is Apple we're talking about, and it did just purchase Beats by Dre. Maybe there's actually some truth to this.
One thing we're not too sure about is what will happen to the current iPhone models. It seems certain that the 5c will remain, as it's the lesser-expensive of the bunch, but as for the 5s, that's up-in-the-air. It might be a good idea for Apple to keep it around for a time, in case there are still those who want the smaller screen, but as a company that really likes to keep slim product-lines, four models might be one iPhone too many.
With all these rumors in tow, it's important to realize one thing: We still have an entire month to go before we find out what's actually up Apple's sleeve.