There is no doubt that the iPhone 6 is going to be critical to the future of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL). The iPhone remains the flagship product of the consumer electronics manufacturer, and after encouraging sales figures released during its last financial report, Apple will be looking for the iPhone 6 to shift a significantly higher number of units than previous models. This desire may have been particularly intensified by the fact that Samsung has claimed within the last forty-eight hours to have sold more of the Galaxy S5 smartphone than previous models.

So what do we know about the iPhone 6 at this point? Here are the latest rumors, leaks and facts.

iPhone 6

iPhone 6: Appearance

We don’t know what the iPhone 6 will look like yet, at least not officially. But all the available evidence points to a much thinner iPhone design than previous iterations of the handset. It seems certain that there will be an iPhone with a 4.7-inch display, as reports to this effect have appeared on a consistent basis over the last couple of months. A phablet-sized iPhone 6 is also a possibility, but rumors of this have died down slightly in the last few weeks, despite indications in documentation involved in the Apple v. Samsung court case that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) was working on a phablet.

Resolution

9to5Mac has suggested that the iPhone 6 will feature an increased screen resolution, which could be around 1704 x 960 pixels. This would result in an improved resolution density of between 356-416 pixels per inch.

iphone 6 glass

Sapphire screen

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) seems to be seeking to improve the durability of the iPhone 6 by constructing it from scratch-proof Sapphire Glass. This would mean a departure from the Gorilla Glass which has been used for previous iPhone iterations. Supply line reports have indicated that Apple has already purchased a vast amount of this material, and that the process of manufacturing sapphire crystal in its supply chain is already underway.

Faster networking

Numerous analysts have asserted that the iPhone 6 will support the latest 802.11ac wireless networking standard. This would mean that the iPhone 6 would be compatible with speeds of up to 1 Gigabit per second. Apple has already instigated a general push to include to next-generation networking technology within its other devices.

Camera

Reports have indicated that Sony are in talks with Apple to assist with the development of camera technology for the iPhone 6. This could result in the next Apple smartphone being fitted with a more powerful snapper than the iPhone 5S, possibly around the 13-megapixel mark.

iphone 6 Camera

Processor

The iPhone 6 may embrace the A8 chip, which will offer more sophisticated 64-bit technology than previous iPhone models. There has also been speculation that the M7 coprocessor will be spruced up, which will possibly enable the iPhone 6 to include environmental sensors, in order for it to be viewed as a companion device for Apple’s ‘Healthbook’ application.

Other features

As mentioned previously, the fabled ‘Healthbook’ app is rumored to be in development for the iPhone 6. This will reportedly include bloodwork, heartrate monitoring and blood pressure measurement.

There could also be improved networking with the iPad and possible link-up capability with a hypothetical iWatch, although an Apple smartwatch may not have hit the market by the time that the iPhone 6 is released.

Finally, improvements in the Siri song recognition software, touch ID development, and a brand new iOS 8 operating system offering new functionality, are all likely.

Release date

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) remains very tight lipped on even the existence of the iPhone 6, let alone when we can expect to see it hit the High Street. With iPhone 5S adverts still running regularly on television, it is quite clear that Apple is intending to flog a fair few more units of their existing smartphones before announcing the iPhone 6. But a possible release date of September, 2014 has been set in stone by the Apple-following community for some time now, and it would be a big surprise if something so ubiquitously reported turned out to be completely incorrect.

Price

Traditionally, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has not lowered the price of any of its smartphone releases. Some reports have speculated that the iPhone 6 may cost as much as $100 more than the iPhone 5S on release, but it is more likely that it will retail at around the same price point.