September, the traditional month for Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone launches, is only two months away, but the number of rumors about the so-called iPhone 6 doesn’t appear to be tapering off. While most industry watchers seem to agree that the iPhone 6 will be made available in two larger screen sizes of 4.7 inches and 5.5 inches, almost all other details about the next-generation devices seems to be up for dispute. Since the iPhone 6 information that is leaked by unnamed sources in Apple’s overseas supply chain is unconfirmed and often contradictory, Apple aficionados should always take these rumors with a grain of salt. Keeping that in mind, here is the latest batch of rumors and supply chain leaks that is feeding speculation about Apple’s next-generation iPhones.
1. Alleged Front Panel of Apple’s 4.7-inch iPhone 6 Highlighted in New Video
The source: Chinese blog iFanr recently posted a video that purports to show the front glass panel for a 4.7-inch iPhone 6 model. The video was first spotted and shared by Nowhereelse.fr’s Steve Hemmerstoffer. As seen in the video above, the leaker compares the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 glass panel to an iPhone 5S glass panel. Besides demonstrating that the larger iPhone size can still be operated with one hand, the video also appears to confirm that the iPhone 6 screen will feature slightly curved edges. The glass panel for the iPhone 6 is noticeably thinner than the iPhone 5S glass panel, which aligns with rumors that the next-generation iPhones will be even slimmer than the current iPhone 5S.
The background: While the authenticity of the alleged iPhone 6 front panel shown in this video cannot be confirmed, most industry commentators have noted that it appears to be a genuine Apple component. Along with previous leaks that showed alleged LCD backlight components for the iPhone 6, this latest video seems to offer further proof that the next-generation iPhones will be available in two larger screen sizes.
2. Apple’s iPhone 6 Will Be Launched on September 25
The source: According to insider sources cited by China.com via GforGames, Apple will launch the iPhone 6 on Thursday, September 25, after the device is officially announced on Monday, September 15. Although it was not clear from the report, the sources also seemed to suggest that both iPhone 6 models would launch at the same time. China.com’s sources also affirmed that the 32GB capacity 4.7-inch iPhone 6 would retail in China for 5,288 yuan (about $850), as was previously reported by another Chinese media outlet.
Finally, China.com’s sources claimed that the iPhone 6 is currently being tested on the 4G networks run by China Mobile (NYSE:CHL) and China Unicom (NYSE:CHU). On the other hand, the sources had not heard anything about the iPhone 6 being tested on China Telecom’s (NYSE:CHA) 4G network.
The background: The September 25 launch date prediction contradicts several previous rumors that pegged the iPhone 6 launch date on Friday, September 19. As reported by German website ApfelPage earlier this year, Deutsche Telekom has already advertised September 19 as the iPhone 6 launch date, while China’s Tencent Digital News via Laoyaoba also recently affirmed the same launch date. It should also be noted that Apple has released its iPhone on a Friday in September over the past two years, while September 25 falls on a Thursday. Finally, the sources’ claim that the iPhone 6 has not yet been tested by China Telecom may simply be due to a lack of insider contacts. Apple currently has distribution deals with all of the three major Chinese carriers, including China Telecom.
3. Apple’s 5.5-Inch iPhone 6 Model Will Be Called the “iPhone Air”
The source: According to China.com’s unnamed sources, the 5.5-inch version of the iPhone 6 will carry the “Air” moniker that Apple has previously used for the smaller version of its MacBook, as well as its latest 9.7-inch iPad. The sources also claimed that the entry-level 16GB iPhone Air will sell for 5,998 yuan (about $965) in China. This price range suggests that the higher capacity models of the 5.5-inch model could sell for well over $1,000 in China.
The background: Apple used the “Air” moniker for its latest iPad iteration in order to emphasize the tablet’s “new thinner and lighter design.” Since leaked technical specifications have indicated that the iPhone 6 could be as thin as six millimeters, it is quite possible that Apple would extend the “Air” label to its latest iPhone model. On the other hand, the sources’ claim that the iPhone Air will be available in a 16GB capacity contradicts previous reports from Chinese media outlets that have suggested that the smallest iPhone 6 capacity would be 32GB and the largest would be 128GB.
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