As usual, industry sources or analysts provide information that are more or less convincing. We offer a quick summary of all the rumors that have surrounded the smartphone since the beginning of the year.
This year marked the launch of the iPhone 5S and 5C on China Mobile, the world’s largest mobile operator.
During a meeting with journalists and clients at the main Apple Store in Beijing, Apple CEO Tim Cook dropped hints about future Apple products, promising that “great things” are ahead.
In early January sources at Foxconn claimed that Apple is working on two iPhone models: a 4.7-inch screen model and a 5.7-inch device.
A report by Chinese publication Tencent stated that the 4.7-inch iPhone is set to enter production in May and the 5.7-inch model could be released in the fall.
The report added that the same 8-megapixel camera will be featured on the device, but with a new optical image stabilization technology and F1.8 lens.
Chinese analyst Sun Chyang Xu estimates that the 4.7-inch device will have the same resolution as the current model, while the larger screen model could get a higher resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels.
The Wall Street Journal reported about the possibility that Apple launches two iPhone models.
The first device would feature a 4.5 inch screen, while the second would pack a display larger than 5 inches, both built in metal outer cases.
The smartphones could arrive in the second half of 2014, with the smaller model in preparation for mass production.
Another rumor about the release date came from Chinese publication Huanqiu which claimed that the next iPhone could be launched in September.
South Korean publication ET News wrote that the smartphone might be significantly thinner than its predecessor.
DisplaySearch analyst David Hsieh joined the bandwagon, claiming that two iPhones with different displays will be launched in 2014.
One of the models will be equipped with a 5.5-inch display based on LTPS (low-temperature polysilicon) LCD with a 1920 x 1080 resolution and a 401 ppi density.
The second iPhone variant could feature a 4.7-inch LTPS screen with a 386 pixel density and 1600 x 900 resolution.
KDB Daewoo Securities released a report describing the possible specs of the two iPhone models.
The smaller-sized iPhone will feature a 4.7 or 4.8-inch screen, while the bigger model will come with a 5.5-inch display.
The iPhone 6 display will have full HD resolution (1,920 x 1,080 pixels), whereas the phablet model could bring a 2K “quad HD” screen (2,272 x 1,280 pixels).
The devices will be available in versions of 16, 32, 64 and 128 GB. Other specs include a 64-bit A8 processor, 2 GB of RAM, a 1,800 mAh battery and an 8-megapixel rear camera and a 3.2-megapixel front-facing camera.
The research firm believes the smartphones could launch between Q2 and Q3 this year.
In terms of specs, a report by ET News suggested the device could be thinner, bigger, and that it will be similar to its predecessor in terms of design.
The site claimed the handset will be called “iPhone Air,” and that it will be made of metal.
Another report about a thinner iPhone surfaced when an Apple patent described a method of reducing the mechanism that connects a SIM card to an iPhone logic board.
Seemingly supporting this rumor were also two leaked images posted by Chinese site C Technology, showing what is claimed be the metal frame of the handset.
Regarding the camera of the iPhone 6, The China Post reported that the same 8-megapixel sensor will be featured, but with improved optical stabilization.
A patent application titled “VCM OIS Actuator Module” filed by Apple echoed the rumor about an improved camera.
The filing suggests Apple been improving the camera’s autofocus (AF) and has added optical image stabilization (OIS).
However, Chinese website IT168.com reported a camera of at least 10 megapixels and an f / 1.8 aperture will actually equip the smartphone.
Also, the iPhone 5S infrared filter could be replaced by interchangeable lenses treated with resin designed by Japan’s JSR.
These ARTON Resins are reportedly capable of recording much clearer pictures in almost any conditions.
Other rumors claimed that the production of Touch ID sensor production will start in the second quarter of 2014 at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), based on a 65nm process technology.
Production of the new A8 processor is said to have been assigned to three companies, with Amkor Technology and STATS ChipPAC providing 40 % of the supply, and the remaining 20% produced by Advanced Semiconductor Engineering (ASE).
According to new documents, Apple is speeding up the opening of a sapphire plant in Mesa, Arizona, with operations beginning by February.
9to5Mac and analyst Matt Margolis discovered correspondence between Apple and the U.S. Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) revealing that Apple wants to begin the production of a “critical new sub-component” at the plant.
Also, new documents show that Cupertino has purchased a significant amount of equipment dedicated to the production of sapphire that could produce between 103 million and 116 million 5-inch screens per year.