4 Major Apple iPhone 6 Rumors Making Rounds This Week

It’s that time again. With another week coming to a close, it’s time to sift through the latest batch of Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone 6 rumors and separate the tech wheat from the tech chaff. Here are four major iPhone 6 rumors making the rounds this week.

Source: USwitch.com

Source: USwitch.com

1. iPhone 6 Rear Shell Component Leak Reignites Illuminated Logo Rumors

The source: This week kicked off with yet another 4.7-inch iPhone 6 component leak, with this one coming from price comparison website USwitch. The image offered a detailed look at the inside of the device’s rear shell, including the unusual cutout Apple logo that has been the source of much speculation. As seen in the image above, the logo aperture is backed with a plastic panel. This is a departure from previous iPhone designs that featured engraved Apple logos on the rear shell. The cutout logo has led some commentators to speculate that the upcoming iPhone will feature an illuminated logo on the back, similar to what is seen on Apple’s MacBooks.

The background: While USwitch is not a common source of Apple component leaks, the website noted that the images were obtained with the help of Sonny Dickson, a well-connected components leaker who is familiar to many Apple watchers from his exclusive leaks of last year’s iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C. While USwitch speculated that the Apple logo aperture is intended for a light, others commentators have speculated that it may be intended for an antenna or even for the device’s rumored Near Field Communications (NFC) technology. Like many of the other leaked rear shell components that have already been seen, the image from USwitch also featured incongruous white plastic bands on the back casing that are widely believed to be temporary placeholders for glass panels, similar to the ones that are currently used in the iPhone 5S.

Source: Thinkstock

Source: Thinkstock

2. Record Production Rumors Suggest Apple Is Confident of iPhone 6

The source: According to “people familiar with the matter” cited by The Wall Street Journal earlier this week, Apple is gearing up for the largest initial iPhone production run in the company’s history. The sources claimed that Apple has told its suppliers to manufacture between 70 million and 80 million units combined of both larger screen models before the end of the year. As noted by The Wall Street Journal, that is significantly bigger than last year’s record order of between 50 million and 60 million units of the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C. This suggests that Apple is confident that its new iPhone models will be a hit with consumers.

The background: It has been widely reported that the iPhone 6 will be released in a 4.7-inch screen size and a 5.5-inch screen size. Apple’s current flagship iPhone 5S only has a 4-inch screen and many industry analysts have predicted that the long overdue introduction of a larger screen iPhone will drive an unprecedented spike in upgrades.

While the 4.7-inch model is expected to be released sometime in September, there have been rumors that the launch of the 5.5-inch model could be delayed until late in the fourth-quarter due to yield issues for some key components. The Wall Street Journal’s sources claimed that Apple has asked suppliers for twice the number of displays due to the high failure rate related to the larger and thinner in-cell touch panel technology that is being implemented in the 5.5-inch model.

BORIS HORVAT/AFP/Getty Images

BORIS HORVAT/AFP/Getty Images

3. Apple Plans Mid-September Media Event — Will the 5.5-Inch iPhone Be There?

The source: According to insider sources cited by 9to5Mac, the Cupertino-based company is wrapping up work on its latest mobile operating system as it makes tentative plans for a mid-September media event where it will announce the iPhone 6. However, as suggested earlier in the week by The Wall Street Journal’s sources, it is not clear yet if the 5.5-inch variant of the iPhone 6 will be ready to make its debut alongside the 4.7-inch model in September. According to 9to5Mac’s sources, the 5.5-inch model is not as far along as the 4.7-inch model in the manufacturing and testing process. The sources also noted that Apple is planning a second media event in October, ostensibly for the so-called “iWatch” fitness-tracking device.

The background: Apple has been launching its new iPhone models in September since the release of the iPhone 5 in 2012, so it comes as no surprise that at least one of the iPhone models would also make its debut in September this year. More importantly, 9to5Mac’s report provides further evidence that Apple’s 5.5-inch iPhone 6 may be delayed until later in the fourth-quarter or even until 2015. Additional evidence emerged on Friday, when another report from Taiwan’s Economic Daily News via GforGames claimed that mass production of the 5.5-inch model has been pushed into September.

Man uses an Apple iPhone in Tokyo, Japan on July 16, 2014

Atsushi Tomura/ Getty Images

4. Will the iPhone 6 Be Apple’s First Digital Wallet?

The source: Apple may be planning to launch a mobile payments system alongside the iPhone 6, according to sources cited by The Information via 9to5Mac. The sources claimed that Apple executives have been in talks with various “payments-industry companies” over the past few months, including Visa (NYSE:V), which has already committed to offering support for the system.

Apple’s mobile payments system would enable the iPhone 6 to be utilized as a digital wallet — allowing users to make purchases via a wireless protocol. However, The Information’s sources were unsure if Apple would adopt the widely-used NFC technology, or implement a Bluetooth or Wi-Fi-based solution. According to The Information’s sources, Apple told its payment industry partners that customers’ sensitive financial information would be stored in a secure enclave of the iPhone 6, similar to how the Touch ID fingerprint information is stored in the iPhone 5S. The payment system would also be completely run by Apple, without any interference from wireless carriers.

The background: Many analysts, including Piper Jaffray’s Gene Munster, have long predicted that Apple would eventually launch a new mobile payments service that takes advantage of the company’s sizeable iTunes user base.  Earlier this year, sources cited by BrightWire claimed that Apple had already entered a partnership with China UnionPay that would allow users to make purchases via NFC-enabled iPhones. While it remains unclear what technology will power Apple’s mobile payments system, this is just the latest rumor to suggest that the Cupertino-based company is entering the digital wallet space this year. The introduction of an iPhone-based payment system would bring Apple into competition with companies like eBay’s (NASDAQ:EBAY) PayPal, as well as current rivals like Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL), which offers its NFC-based Google Wallet payment solution for Android-based smartphones.

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