With the Samsung Galaxy coming in the next few weeks, and now HTC announcing their latest handset, we already know what Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) will be up against later this year when it releases the iPhone 6. Apple has been characteristically quiet regarding what we can expect from their next generation smartphone, but rumors, leaks and some of the company’s activity have enabled us to pick up a fair bit about the direction that the iPhone 6 is likely to take.

 iPhone 6 and iOS 8

Here are the latest, tidbits, rumors and leaks from all over the web on the massive iPhone 6 release.

iPhone 6 – Automated battery assembly

DigiTimes has recently reported that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) will take assembly of batteries out of the hands of its workers, and instead have iPhone 6 batteries fully manufactured on automated production lines. The source has cited rising labor costs in China as the motivation for this decision. No Apple source has been quoted, but there have been strong murmurings in this direction from Apple’s supply chain which indicates that automated production will be a key component of the iPhone 6.

iPhone 6 – Camera rumors

Although having a super-powerful camera in megapixel terms can be an increasing selling point for smartphones, the indications are that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) will not be tempted to battle it out with the highest spec cameras with the iPhone 6 release. AppleInsider reports that although Apple will be tweaking its camera for the iPhone 6, the device is still likely to contain an 8-megapixel snapper.

Display size and release date

It has long since been rumored that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) will be releasing two version of the iPhone 6, one of which will have a 4.7-inch screen, and a more premium version featuring a 5.5 inch display. However, Steve Milunovich of UBS has suggested that while it is likely that both of these smartphones will be produced by Apple eventually, the larger version of the iPhone 6 may not launch in August, when he expects the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 to be released. It will be interesting to follow developments on this matter in the coming weeks and months.

Swappable lenses

The International Business Times has been suggesting for some time that one of the feature of the iPhone 6 may be a camera with swappable lenses. This is an interesting rumor, but some analysts have pointed out that generally speaking Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) tend to focus on built-in integration rather than lots of fancy add-ons. Whether or not this will turn out to be accurate is debatable, but the International Business Times continues to suggest that this will be a key feature of the iPhone 6.

Virtual health

The Irish Independent has suggested that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) will place a strong emphasis in the forthcoming iPhone 6 on health features. The newspaper acknowledges that predicting what Apple is going to do next is always a risky business, but states that with the iWatch currently considered to be on the horizon, Apple might look at a health-related focus as a useful emphasis for the iPhone 6 ahead of a possible smartwatch release next year.

iOS 8

Finally, GottaBeMobile predicts that the latest version of the Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) operating system, iOS 8, will implement new features which will complement the larger display size predicted for the premium version of the smartphone. An updated iOS 8 is a certainty for the device, and will be one of the major selling points of the iPhone 6.