The Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone 6 will be the best smartphone ever released if the company’s history is any guide. After the release of the iPhone 5s and the iPhone 5c left some Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) fans wanting more, millions of people are trying to find out what the Cupertino company is likely to do with its next release. Here’s a look at what we know so far.

iPhone 6

The iPhone 6 will be a full Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) release, unlike the iPhone 5s which moved the device a half generation. That means, very literally, structural change in the iPhone 6. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) will have to change the shape of the phone and show us something very different.

iPhone 6 shape

The iPhone 6 is likely to have a much larger 5-inch screen. Almost every report about the device agrees on this point. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) needs to catch up in the Android screen size arms race in order to get access to the maximum amount of consumers. The 5-inch iPhone 6 will be more comfortable for watching video, and the screen will, no doubt, be of Retina quality.

Apple iphone 6 - 1

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) will also have to do something with the shape of the device if the company wants to really drive sales when the iPhone 6 is released. The company changed the shape of the phone in the iPhone 4 and iPhone 5 full generations, and the iPhone 6 will likely get a similar reincarnation.

Nobody is sure what Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) will do with the shape and structure of the iPhone 6, and nobody seems to have any good leads. We know that the smartphone won’t be made of plastic. iPhone 5c sales have been far too disappointing to allow that to happen. The iPhone 6 could be metal, or Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) might take the opportunity to use something different – a carbon fiber iPhone 6 might be on the way.

iPhone 6 release date, pricing, and margins

Unless something terrible happens to Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) earnings in the coming months or the company discovers the alchemical secret, the iPhone 6 is likely to cost the same amount as the company’s previous iPhone models. The iPhone 5s currently sells for around $650.

The iPhone 6 will probably cost $650 at launch, and it will likely cost $199 on contract from Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), Sprint Corporation (NYSE:S) and AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T). The iPhone 6 release date is a matter of a little bit more contention, and the decision will come down to a couple of factors. The new iPhone is selling well, so Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) will probably not have to intervene by releasing the iPhone 6 early.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) will take its time with this smartphone. The company probably won’t release the product until next September or October, cementing the companies’ product cycle. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is likely to see slightly reduced margins on the iPhone 6. Competition is dragging the metric down. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) will likely see another few points reduction with the release of the iPhone 6.