3 Apple iPhone 6 Rumors Making the Rounds This Week
While most industry watchers have been focused on Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) upcoming $3.2 billion acquisition of Beats Electronics, several more rumors related to the so-called iPhone 6 have emerged online this week. As usual, this week’s batch of iPhone rumors has come from anonymous supply chain leakers as well as analysts’ exclusive sources. Here are three major iPhone 6 rumors making the rounds this week.
1. Samsung Excluded From iPhone 6 Display Production
The source: On Monday, Taiwan’s UDN news site reported that LCD (liquid-crystal display) panel maker InnoLux had been selected to be Apple’s third primary display supplier for the 4.7-inch iPhone 6. According to UDN’s sources, Apple typically requires three separate suppliers for its iPhone display production. The unnamed supply chain sources claim that LG Display (NYSE:LPL) and Japan Display were selected first, while the third supplier was a choice between Sharp, Samsung (SSNLF.PK), or InnoLux. According to the sources, Sharp was rejected because of a recurring “moire problem” with its displays, while Samsung was rejected because it is a “direct competitor” to Apple in the smartphone market.
The background: As a longtime producer of TFT (thin-film-transistor) LCD panels for various kinds of devices, it is not inconceivable that Innolux would be tapped as a main supplier for Apple’s next-generation iPhone. However, the claim that Samsung was excluded because of its smartphone market competition with Apple seems dubious. Although Samsung and Apple are rivals in the marketplace and the courtroom, the Korea-based manufacturer still produces many components for Apple’s products, including the A-series processors that power the iPhone and iPad.
2. NXP Semiconductors Will Provide the NFC Chip for the iPhone 6
The source: On Tuesday, a research note from Morgan Stanley predicted that NXP Semiconductors (NASDAQ:NXPI) would provide the Near Field Communication (NFC) technology that is rumored to be incorporated into the iPhone 6, reports MacRumors. Morgan Stanley analyst Craig Hettenbach appeared to be basing his prediction on circumstantial licensing deal evidence as well as NXP Semiconductors’ existing relationship with Apple as the supplier of the M7 motion coprocessor that is found in the iPhone 5S. Hettenbach also cited various patents that Apple previously filed for NFC-related technologies, including a patent for an NFC-based retail shopping system that it filed earlier this year.
The background: Rumors about an NFC chip in the iPhone 6 have continued to gain momentum after a source cited by BrightWire last week reported that NFC technology would be the basis for a new mobile payments system that would be unveiled with the iPhone 6. Morgan Stanley’s Hettenbach isn’t the only analyst to affirm the iPhone 6 NFC chip rumors. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo issued a research note last month that predicted that the iPhone 6 would include an “NFC chip with security element and metal casing,” reports 9to5Mac. Although Apple has never used NFC technology in its devices before, the recent rumors align with a report from The Wall Street Journal earlier this year that stated that Apple executives were meeting with various industry leaders to discuss the implementation of an expanded mobile payments service.
3. Aluminum iPhone 6 Mold Surfaces
The source: Images of what appeared to be an aluminum manufacturing mold for an iPhone 6 were recently posted on Romanian mobile phone site MobileDirect.ro, reports MacRumors. As noted by MacRumors, the mold is used by case manufacturers in order to approximate the size of the iPhone 6. Although it is impossible to determine exact measurements for the iPhone 6 from this image, the mold appears to confirm several previous rumors about the device’s construction. For example, the mold features a circular flash aperture instead of the oval “pill-shaped” True Tone flash aperture seen on the iPhone 5S.
The background: Although this iPhone 6 casing mold does not offer absolute confirmation on the appearance of the next-generation iPhone, it does align with previous rumors regarding some of the iPhone 6 design changes. Various media outlets have reported rumors that Apple will launch two iPhone 6 models with different screen sizes this fall: one with a 4.7-inch screen and another with a 5.5-inch screen.
More From Wall St. Cheat Sheet:
- Here’s Why Apple Wants Beats
- Google Unseats Apple as World’s Most Valuable Brand
- Rumor: Apple Snubs Samsung as iPhone 6 Display Supplier
Follow Nathanael on Twitter @ArnoldEtan_WSCS