Purported Apple iPhone 6 Renderings Reveal Design Changes

Source: www.feng.com

As the expected launch date for Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) so-called iPhone 6 draws nearer, the frequency of information leaks from the Cupertino-based company’s Asian supply chain appears to be increasing. The latest leaked information is a series of renderings that purport to show the 4.7-inch model of the iPhone 6. China’s Wei Feng website — where the renderings were first posted — claimed that the images were obtained from “informed sources.” Although several industry commentators have speculated that the source of the leak may be primary Apple supplier Foxconn or one of its subcontractors, Wei Feng did not specify a source.

According to the measurements provided in one of the images, the device appears to be 138 millimeters (5.43 inches) long and 67 millimeters (2.63 inches) wide, which would give the device enough surface area to feature a 4.7-inch screen. Several media outlets have reported rumors that Apple’s upcoming iPhone 6 will be available in two larger screen sizes. Most rumors peg the screen size of the smaller model at around 4.7 inches, while the larger-screen model is believed to feature a screen size around 5.5 or 5.6 inches.

Besides aligning with previous rumors about the next-generation iPhone’s screen size, the renderings also show several other design changes in the iPhone 6. The corners of the iPhone 6 appear to be rounder than the current iPhone 5S, while the circular volume control buttons have been replaced with rectangular buttons. The renderings also show that the power button has been moved from the top of the device to the right hand side. According to Wei Feng, the power button was relocated in order to “allow users to adapt to a sense of grip due to changes caused by the big screen.”

Source: Thinkstock

Source: Thinkstock

The renderings also show that the aperture for the iPhone 6 camera flash has returned to the circular design found on the iPhone 5, rather than the oval “pill-shaped” design found on the iPhone 5S. One of the most interesting design changes that can be seen in the new renderings is an Apple logo cutout. This suggests that the upcoming iPhones will feature an illuminated logo on the back casing; similar to what is seen on Apple’s MacBooks.

While it is impossible to confirm the authenticity of these renderings, it is interesting to note that the dimensions and design elements found in these images appear to align with several previous leaks, as well as predictions made by prominent analysts. For example, iPhone 6 renderings posted on UkrainianiPhone last month featured identical dimensions and design changes. Similarly, in a research note obtained by 9to5Mac, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicted that the iPhone 6 would feature a power button on the side, rather than the top of the device.

Although we won’t know if the information from these leaks is accurate until the day that the new iPhone is unveiled, that day may be closer than you think. Although Apple typically releases a new iPhone model in September, the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 model may be launched in August,  according to Taiwan’s Economic Daily News. Here’s a recap of our previous article detailing that rumor:

Apple’s next iPhone iteration will arrive a month earlier than expected, according to a new report from Taiwan’s Economic Daily News via Reuters. Since the release of the iPhone 4S in 2011, Apple has shifted its iPhone release times from the summer to the fall and most models are launched in the month of September. However, according to “unidentified supply-chain sources” cited by the Economic Daily News, Apple will release the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 model in August of 2014, while the 5.5-inch or 5.6-inch model will debut at the usual time in September.

Multiple media outlets, including Reuters, have cited insider sources that claim Apple’s upcoming iPhone 6 will be available in two larger screen sizes. According to the The Wall Street Journal’s sources, one model will feature a screen size larger than 4.5 inches and the other will have a phablet-sized screen that is larger than 5 inches. A large-screen iPhone is expected to help Apple boost its market share in China and other Asian markets where phablets are especially popular. Earlier this year, Forrester Research analyst Bryan Wang told Bloomberg that about 40 percent of the Android-based smartphones sold in China this year will have screen sizes of five inches or more. “China is driving the demand for large-screen devices,” said Wang.

Besides offering a launch timeline for the next-generation iPhones, the Economic Daily News also claimed that a total of 80 million iPhone 6 models would be produced in 2014. Although the Taiwanese media outlet did not name its sources, the report mentioned two companies: Hon Hai Precision Industry, or Foxconn, and Largan Precision. While it is not known if one of these companies was the source of this rumor, both firms are found on a list of suppliers provided by Apple.

The latest iPhone 6 rumor follows a flood of leaked information about Apple’s upcoming device that has emerged from supply chain sources over the past several months. Earlier this week, a report from Taiwan’s Commercial Times stated that Apple supplier Pegatron would assume a greater share of the iPhone manufacturing that in previous years was handled mostly by Foxconn.

Last month, purported iPhone 6 renderings were posted on UkrainianiPhone, an iPhone-dedicated blog based in the Ukraine. Based on the measurements derived from the renderings, the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 will be the thinnest smartphone ever produced by Apple, with a depth of only 6 millimeters (0.23 inches.) Around the same time, Japanese tech blog Mac Otakara cited sources who claimed that the iPhone 6 will feature a curved screen that extends slightly over the edges of the device.

In addition to these possible design changes, Apple’s iPhone 6 is also expected to feature an upgraded processor. The so-called A8 processor is being made by Samsung (SSNLF.PK), according to an insider source cited by ZDNet Korea. The iPhone 6 will also likely have an improved camera, although sources cited by Taiwan’s China Post earlier this year suggested that this will be accomplished without increasing the current 8-megapixel count.

More from Wall St. Cheat Sheet:

Follow Nathanael on Twitter (@ArnoldEtan_WSCS)