Apple fans have several reasons to look forward to the next-generation iPhone models. According to reports from multiple media outlets, the iPhone 6 will be released in two larger screen sizes of 4.7 inches and 5.5 inches. The devices may also be covered with sapphire, an extremely hard and scratch-resistant material that Apple currently only uses for its Touch ID fingerprint scanner and the iPhone camera lens. Other rumors have suggested that the device will feature a Near Field Communication (NFC) chip that will enable wireless purchases via a new mobile payments system. The upcoming devices will also likely include the usual hardware upgrades, such as a higher resolution screen and a more powerful processor.
With the widely expected increase in screen sizes and the possible inclusion of several new types of components, some industry watchers are raising questions about just how much the two iPhone 6 models could end up costing consumers. Apple typically sells its entry-level (16GB) flagship iPhone for $199 with a standard two-year service contract. While large resellers such as Walmart and Best Buy may drop this price a little during special promotional deals, the flagship iPhone’s off-contract price is usually set in stone at $649.
However, some analysts have already predicted that Apple will be forced to raise the starting price for at least one, if not both the upcoming iPhone 6 models. In a research note issued to investors in April, Jefferies analyst Peter Misek cited sources that said Apple was negotiating with carriers to raise the on-contract price of the entry-level 5.5-inch iPhone 6 by $100, reported StreetInsider. This would give Apple’s entry-level 5.5-inch iPhone 6 a starting price of $299.