With the presumed unveiling date for the iPhone 6 drawing nearer, the rumor mill for this massive mobile release is churning pretty quickly. With Apple expected to unveil the latest iteration in the iPhone series at a special event on September 9, Apple fans, bloggers and analysts are currently at fever pitch attempting to tease out new information about this flagship handset.

iPhone 6

Lots of column inches have already been taken up looking at possible specifications of the iPhone 6, along with any software that it may be armed with. But one element of this device which hasn’t been covered too much has been the potential price point of the iPhone 6.

iPhone 6 price hike coming

Unfortunately for Apple fans, the latest indications are that this may be the most expensive iPhone in the history of the smartphone. Perhaps this is not hugely unexpected given that leaks emanating from the Apple supply chain indicate that the iPhone 6 will be a radical rebooting of the device; at least with regard to one of the models released.

However, according to reports printed in the Huffington Post, Apple may be ready to similarly shake up its pricing model. Previous iPhone releases have been based around a $199 on-contract entry price point, but the online newspaper suggests that the iPhone 6 may depart from this previously followed price model, and suggests a possible jump to $299.

Apple’s high overheads

From the perspective of Apple, a price hike may be considered not merely common sense, but instead a necessity. One of the primary reasons for this is that the new device will be constructed from premium materials. For a long time now it has been noted that the iPhone 6 will feature a crystal screen constructed from Sapphire Glass. Such a setup simply does not come cheap, and this will be one of the biggest reasons behind the presumed price increase.

In addition to the Sapphire Glass upgrade, recent reports have indicated that Apple is likely to include a brand-new A8 processor with the iPhone 6. It goes without saying that this will mean that the device will cost considerably more to produce than previous models. Although Apple has always upgraded the iPhones specs with each new device and still been able to maintain consistent price points, it is thought that the new materials will affect Apple’s bottom line, meaning that the world’s most successful producer of consumer electronics may choose to pass the cost directly to consumers.

If the assumptions about the Apple iPhone 6 price are correct then other previous murmurings about the strategy that Apple will employ begin to make even more commercial sense. For some time, it has been assumed that Apple will release two models of the iPhone 6, and that the one featuring Sapphire Glass will be a phablet-sized premium device, while another 4.7-inch screen smartphone will be marketed as more of an entry level handset.

Another possible expense for the larger version of the iPhone 6 could be a larger battery. Apple has been criticized in the past with regard to the battery life of its iPhone handsets, and the company will be acutely aware that its main competitor, Samsung, has been greatly praised for the exceptional battery life exhibited by its Galaxy range of mobile devices.

Considering the intention of Apple to release two different models of the iPhone 6, one could tentatively suggest that the so-called entry level handsets may be released at the standard $199 entry price point. This would be an interesting and logical strategy, but cannot be confirmed at the time of writing.

However, given the potential price hike, it might be wise to consider trading in or selling your existing iPhone in the next couple of weeks. Or maybe even sooner. With the trading value of an old iPhone dropping rapidly in the weeks before the latest iteration of the iPhone ranges released, it may be a good time to act if you are intending to get hold of an iPhone 6. The US arm of T-Mobile has just announced that it is cutting the price of both the iPhone 5s an iPhone 5c, indicating that the retailer is expecting the iPhone 6 to emerge in the very near future.

iPhone 6 to feature NFC

Aside from price issues, the latest news to come out regarding the iPhone 6 is the persistent rumor that the smartphone will embrace Near Field Communication (NFC), and that a mobile payment system developed independently by Apple will also be included. This has been reported by Wired, with the NFC functionality intended to go hand-in-hand with Apple’s new mobile payment system.

With more than 800 million credit cards stored in iTunes, it would make obvious sense for Apple to go down this route, and it could be an excellent way to sweeten the pill for consumers forced to stump up a little extra money to purchase the iPhone 6.