When the iPhone 6 finally comes out, we’ll be able to put all of these rumors to rest. Unfortunately in the meantime, we’ll just have to deal with them. The rumors have focused on everything from hopes of a better camera to a wider use of sapphire glass in the handset. The general consensus seems to be that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) needs to play catch-up—particularly with its camera—and probably even surpass the offerings from other smartphone vendors.
But will the company actually do these things? Analysts at Cantor Fitzgerald spoke with “a leading smartphone vendor” and have provided some updates regarding what we might possibly see in the iPhone 6.
Sapphire glass possibly in the iPhone 6, but…
In a report dated April 1, 2014, Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Brian White said the smartphone vendor they spoke with did talk about “the possibility of using sapphire as a cover glass on certain smartphone models in the future.” So does this mean the iPhone 6 will feature sapphire glass? That’s the big question everyone wants answered.
The report makes it sound like sapphire glass could be used by the unnamed vendor at some point in the future—after this year. We could have a clue from comments made regarding the 64-bit processor in the iPhone 5S. They noted that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) did get ahead by using a 64-bit processor in the iPhone 5S, and the vendor they spoke with plans to do the same in one model this year. In other words, there’s a chance that Apple might expand its use of sapphire in the iPhone 6 this year—if it wants to beat competitors. However, this certainly doesn’t mean that even Apple is ready to use more sapphire glass.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) did make a deal with GT Advanced Technologies Inc (NASDAQ:GTAT), a major sapphire glass maker, late last year. As a result, many have speculated that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) could use a large amount of the specialized glass in the iPhone 6. In the iPhone 5S, it was used in the camera and the Touch ID fingerprint sensor. Some have even looked at estimates for how much sapphire glass Apple has ordered for the coming months in order to take a guess, but of course no one really knows for sure.
What about the iPhone 6’s camera?
We’ve also heard loads of rumors regarding the camera for the iPhone 6. Some have said it will get a major upgrade in terms of pixels, while others have said it will still have the same 8 megapixels the iPhone 5S had. According to White’s report, their “research” suggests that the iPhone 6 will indeed have an 8-megapixel camera.
However, he believes Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) will add an optical image stabilizer in order to improve the quality of images taken with the handset. This would also be in line with some of what we have heard previously.
Apple finally moving up screen size
White also reports that their meeting indicates that the average size of the smartphone sold this year is expected to rise to between 5 and 5.5 inches from last year’s range of between 4 and 4.5 inches. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has been lagging far behind in terms of screen size, as the iPhone 5S still has the same 4-inch screen it predecessor had.
We’ve heard so often that the iPhone 6 will feature a larger display, possibly 4.7 inches in size, that most are starting to believe it. This would still keep Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s handset behind competitors though if the average smartphone size does increase as White reports that it might. We’ve also heard that there could be a second, even bigger 5.5-inch iPhone 6 in the works as well though, which would help Apple in this area—if the rumor is true. However, we’ve also heard some indications that the bigger one will be delayed, meaning Apple could still be playing catch-up in size again.