With Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (LON:BC94) (KRX:005930) apparently moving full speed ahead with plans for the Galaxy S5, the pressure will be on Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) to respond with something truly outstanding in the next iPhone. Although the iPhone 5 has been by any reasonable measure an outstanding success, shifting over 50 million units in the last fiscal quarter, Apple’s overall figures for the period were mediocre, and has been reflected in a fall in its share price.

iPhone 6

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (LON:BC94) (KRX:005930) is far from intimidated by Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s status and reputation at this point in time, and emboldened by the excellent performance of their recent Galaxy handsets, the company has brazenly stated that it intends to become the definitive smartphone manufacturer. The early reports about the specs which will be packed into the Galaxy illustrates this quite clearly, as the S5 will clearly be the most advanced smartphone to hit the market so far.

Although Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is a long way away from being in a period of damage limitation, it does nevertheless need to impress the public quite significantly with the iPhone 6; its key release for 2014. Therefore we will all be looking intently at any rumors regarding the device in the coming weeks and months, as well as any indication of when the iPhone 6 is likely to hit the high street.

iPhonee 6
Mockup: iPhone 6 with a Camera

New iPhone 6 camera rumors

Thus, we are already hearing reports today that the iPhone 6 is going to have higher spec than was previously presumed. The first rumor which is surfacing today is that the iPhone 6 will feature a higher quality camera than has been assumed previously. The latest leak, reported by the Chinese website IT168 (Google Translate) is that the iPhone 6 will sport a 10-megapixel camera with a wide f/1.8 aperture and swappable resin lenses.

The swappable lenses are something that has already been reported on previously by ValueWalk, but the notion of a 10-megapixel camera is a new development. This would be a step up from the 8-megapixel cameras contained in previous iPhones, and would put in more in the ballpark with regard to the Samsung Galaxy S5, rumored to have a 16-megapixel camera in the most recent leaks. And we can take these latest rumors pretty seriously considering that it has reportedly emanated from a Taiwanese supply chain of Apple.

Although we already knew that Apple was aiming to make the camera in the iPhone 6 flexible, we now also know a little bit more about how the swappable lenses are going to be manufactured. The patent which has been applied for is said to to be manufactured by JSR, who are a Japanese firm. It seems that the interchangeable lenses will contain a transparent resin, which is branded as ARTON. The Japanese firm is extremely enthusiastic about its innovation, considering it to be superior in optical characteristics and stability to any comparable product.

Solar panel technology

It looks increasingly as if solar panel technology will also be particularly important in the iPhone 6. Patents have already been leaded regarding this technology, with reports indicating that Apple filed a patent for this innovative feature back in February, 2013. The patent application also included touch sensors, which are evidently involved with a power management system which will be contained within the iPhone 6; Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) clearly sensitive to consumers’ demands for a less power hungry smartphone this time round.

In terms of the release date, though, this has not been set in stone. The rumors regarding this critical date remain just that, with no firm evidence indicating when the iPhone 6 will be released. In the face of the success of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (LON:BC94) (KRX:005930), the extent to which the Galaxy S5 already looks to be a very impressive device, and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s mediocre financial results, the consensus of opinion is that we’ll see the iPhone 6 must sooner in the year than previous releases. This doesn’t mean all that much, though, as the iPhone 5S was released in Q4 in most of the world.

iPhone 6 size critical

The most interesting rumors regarding the forthcoming Apple device at present relate to the size of the iPhone 6. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has always prided itself on delivering the sleekest, coolest-looking devices on the market, and they are hardly likely to abandon this principle with the iPhone 6. Thus, early indications points to the iPhone 6 being the slimmest smartphone ever released. Yet rumors persist that the iPhone 6 could have a 5.7” screen, at least in its premium model. The latter decision would seem to be very much an attempt to respond directly to the threat posed by Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (LON:BC94) (KRX:005930), and even if the Galaxy is a spec-packed handset, one can be sure that wafer-thin iPhone with a huge screen will be a very serious competitor in the smartphone sector indeed.

Without doubt, the early part of the smartphone year will be dominated by Samsung’s Galaxy S5. But Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is maneuvering itself into position to create a very exciting release when the iPhone 6 hits the stores. The company has always been able to create an unrivaled buzz with their previous iPhone releases, so don’t bet against the same happening this time round.