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Just ahead of September 9 launch, the clearest look at iPhone 6: Here’s what we know so far

Apple iphone 6

The big Apple ‘iPhone 6′ launch is just around the corner. If the new report is to be believed then Apple has scheduled a “big” media event related to the iPhone for September 9. The iPhone 6 is set to be the biggest change in Apple’s smartphone strategy and the new features expected could end up boosting overall sales of the iPhone this holiday season.

In the past couple of months, rumours around the next generation Apple iPhone–which the press has named iPhone 6– are gaining more pace than ever. A lot more videos and images of the device are getting leaked. Earlier reports suggested the device will go in mass production in July and hit stores in September.

The most recent report by Feld & Volk gives us the clearest look so far of the new device. It has put together the iPhone 6 using parts and components and the completely assembled device looks absolutely stunning, and in line with leaks so far.

According to another report, leak suggests that the iPhone 6 may feature haptic technology. Earlier this week, another news report hinted at the long-time rumoured sapphire glass display protection for the iPhone 6. Let’s take a quick look at all we know about the iPhone 6.

Leaks have suggested that Apple will be going for a more rounded body and the iPhone 6 will be even slimmer than the current-generation iPhone 5s flagship. Another leak that placed the iPhone 6 next to the Galaxy S5 hinted that the iPhone 6 could come with an iPad-like design. The picture also hints at rounded edges and the smooth brushed aluminium back of the iPhone. Apple has scratched out the capsule design of the current flash and has gone with a more traditional circular cutout.

The new leaked image, and the clearest so far, shows the iPhone 6 looks like the current generation of iPads, thanks to its rounded corners and edges. The image also shows iPad-like volume buttons and completely redesigned speaker holes at the bottom.

Another leak shows the front glass panels of the alleged 4.7-inch iPhone 6 model with thinner bezels and compares it to the iPhone 5s that has slightly broad bezels. The video also compares the single-hand experience with the iPhone 5s and the alleged 4.7-inch iPhone 6 model. It shows the models come with a curved display. Citing some sources related to the matter, the report further claims that the iPhone 6 models will feature a full-metal body.

Iphone 6-1
Image: weibo.com/dreamerjimmy

Earlier this month, Taiwanese celebrity Jimmy Lin – who showed a pre-release iPhone 5 –   revealed supposed images of the iPhone 6, and now yet another picture of the iPhone 6. He was soon followed by Sonny Dickson tweeting out the image showing both models. It was the first time we got a glimpse of the 5.5-inch variant. We also got a sneak peek into the leaked rear shells in multiple angles. Moreover, prolific apple tipster Sonny Dickson has also given a sneak peek of both models.

Some sketches seen earlier suggest the iPhone 6 will be bigger and taller than the current models. We have heard about the next-gen iPhone getting a bigger display, so this is not that much of a stretch. But that doesn’t mean the sketches are showing the final design of the phone. According to the sketches, the iPhone 6 will have a thickness of 7.1mm, which would make it pretty slim indeed.

Another set of leaked images, supposedly straight from Foxconn, show the slim profile of the phone with the camera lens protruding on the back. This seems highly unlikely given Apple’s penchant for a flat back.

To get a better idea of the iPhone 6 design, check out these Chinese knock-offs, which are already on the market.

Some rumours reveal that the next-gen iPhone may get a ‘curved’ display just like Samsung’s Galaxy S 3. The slightly curved display glass has been included to accommodate the rounded edges, which means the display may not be convex on the top. We have also been hearing about a bigger display for the iPhone for nearly a year now. All the recent rumours suggest it would be a 4.7-inch display, but there’s also talk of a bigger 5.5-inch display for the phone. With an increase in display size, we can also expect a bump in the resolution. After all, the ‘Retina’ tag will be hard to let go of and the resolution needs to be higher to qualify for that label. Another rumour said the new panels will go into production in May. The iPhone 6 is also likely to feature haptic technology that emits minor vibrations depending on the touchscreen area you’ve pressed. This means developers can take advantage of the technology for building intuitive games and apps. Reports also claim that the new haptic motor to be employed in the next-gen iPhone would be two to three times more expensive.

A new report also reveals a close-up of the display that looks like a 4.7-inch model, but it’s not been turned on. 9to5mac got their hands on some code that suggests Apple’s new 4.7 and 5.5-inch models will have displays of 1472×878 pixel resolution. The report goes on to say that Apple will stick to the 16:9 aspect ratio for the new iPhones considering that most developers would find this most convenient in spite of the resolution upgrade. At that resolution, the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 will have a pixel density of 359 PPI, which fits into the Retina class that Apple has been marketing since the iPhone 4. Interestingly, the 5.5-inch version will not fit this Retina class, though at 307.07 PPI its pixel density is also above the 300 mark that Apple co-founder Steve Jobs had emphasised upon when introducing the iPhone 4.

Sapphire crystal display protection
Apple has already chosen to use sapphire crystal to protect the fingerprint scanner on the iPhone 5s, and now several reports have been suggesting the use of sapphire protection for the iPhone 6. It is highly speculated that the next-gen iPhone will have a sapphire crystal display protection to ward off scratches and nicks. Apple has applied for a patent for off-screen gestures using pressure sensitivity, where too a sapphire crystal display makes most sense. Late last year, there were reports that GT Advanced Technologies had inked a deal with Apple for sapphire crystal.

iOS 8
iOS 8 is expected to debut with the iPhone 6 and as seen at the WWDC, Apple is betting big on health and fitness tracking features, and will come integrated with the Healthkit platform.

The HealthKit app can pull in data from other third-party apps and this can be accessed by healthcare professionals as well of course depending on how much access users give to this app.

Apple partnered with the world-renowned Mayo Clinic to make HealthKit happen, and the Clinic was all praise for Apple’s new innovation in the health sphere.

Apple healthbook

Alleged Apple Healthbook app screenshots. Image: 9To5Mac

With HealthKit, your iPhone will keep a tab on your important health metrics on a daily basis, and over a longer period. After Mayo Clinic, Nike is also partnering with Apple for HealthKit. Apple promises that the data on Health will have deep privacy protections in place to store these sensitive records safely. iOS 8 code also revealed barometer and pressure sensors for the iPhone 6.

At the WWDC, Apple didn’t talk about the rumoured Healthbook app known as the one-stop solution for all things fitness related. The app is said to be visually similar to Passbook and could work in tandem with the rumoured iWatch.

The Healthbook app can reportedly monitor users’ vital signs such as heart rate, blood pressure, hydration levels, and also glucose levels.  The iWatch could reportedly collect data gathered by the Healthbook app from the various sensors in the iPhone. This is probably the reason why Apple has integrated the M7 motion co-processor in the A7 chipset. There is also the possibility of integrating iWatch with Apple Maps for location tracking and navigation.

8MP camera with improved OIS
Supply chain speculation had earlier suggested that the iPhone 6 will not feature the previously-rumoured 13-megapixel or 16-megapixel camera. Instead, the company will rope in an 8MP snapper, just like the iPhone 5s, but with some functional improvements including in the optical image stabilization (OIS) module. Moreover, Apple may scratched out the capsule design of the current flash and has gone with a more traditional circular cutout.

Pacific Crest Securities analysts John Vinh and Kevin Chen now reportedly predicts optical image stabilization may be a feature limited to just the larger 5.5-inch iPhone.

Rumors have suggested Apple’s next-generation iPhone may include camera improvements in the form of optical image stabilization with modules produced by sensor company InvenSense, but according to a prediction from Pacific Crest Securities analysts John Vinh and Kevin Chen, optical image stabilization may be a feature limited to just the larger 5.5-inch iPhone.

Interchangeable camera lens
Apple has got patents for interchangeable mobile camera lenses. The patent is touted to result into an official accessory from Apple, perhaps a case. The patent mentions a camera add-on that connects using a physical locking mechanism like a DSLR lens, as well as a magnetic component for quicker attachment.

iPen stylus
Apple reportedly has more than 200 patents for stylus. The iPen patent allows determining the orientation of the stylus through a sensor which is fitted in the stylus as well as the device. It’s as yet unknown whether Apple will add a stylus to the iPhone 6, but it could make an appearance in the iPad line-up.

Launch dates
The most recent report claimed that Apple plans for a launch event on September 9. It was earlier known that the next-gen iPhone will go in mass production in July and hit stores in September.  This also questions earlier rumours that said the company is planning to launch 4.7-inch iPhone 6 in August and a 5.5-inch or 5.6-inch model could be released in September. Now, news has it that the 5.5-inch iPhone production is not on track, and only the 4.7-inch model may hit stores next month.

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