As the expected September debut date for Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) next-generation iPhone draws nearer, more rumors about the so-called “iPhone 6” continue to emerge from the Cupertino-based company’s overseas supply chain. According to sources “that can be trusted” cited by Japanese tech blog Mac Otakara via MacRumors, Apple’s iPhone 6 will feature a curved screen that extends slightly over the edges of the device. Mac Otakara described the new iPhone’s design as being similar to the Squair Curvaceous Bumper – a rounded aluminum iPhone bumper made in Japan.
Soon after the rumor was reported, Steve Hemmerstoffer from the French website Nowhereelse.fr and designer Martin Hajek teamed up to create a curvy iPhone 6 mock-up that can be seen above. More iPhone 6 concept images created by Hemmerstoffer and Hajek can be seen here. Rumors of a curved iPhone have been circulating ever since Samsung (SSNLF.PK) launched its much-hyped curved display smartphone, the Galaxy Round. However, Apple’s curved iPhone 6 appears to be different since its edges curve down rather than up like the Galaxy Round.
It should also be noted that Mac Otakara’s report aligns with an unconfirmed rumor reported by Bloomberg’s Tim Culpan last November. According to an unnamed insider source cited by Culpan, Apple’s next iPhone iterations will feature larger screens with displays that curve down over the edge of the devices. However, a subsequent report from The Wall Street Journal in January of this year dismissed the rumors of a curved iPhone. On the other hand, The Wall Street Journal’s sources affirmed the rumors that the next-generation iPhone will be available in two larger screen sizes. According to the unnamed sources, one model will feature a screen size larger than 4.5 inches and that the other will have a phablet-sized screen larger than 5 inches.
According to a research note from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo obtained by 9to5Mac, an iPhone with a 4.7-inch screen size will be released in the third quarter of 2014, while an iPhone with a 5.5-inch screen size will be released late in the fourth quarter. Kuo also predicted that the next iPhone models would feature a power button on the side rather than the top.
Besides the screen-size upgrades, there has also been speculation that Apple will begin using sapphire for the next-generation iPhone displays. The iPhone 6 is expected to have several other typical hardware upgrades, including a faster A8 processor and an improved camera. Other rumors reported by the Korea Herald earlier this year suggested that the iPhone 6 would feature a bezel-free display. Apple’s iPhone 6 will also use the expected iOS 8 operating system that, according to sources cited by 9to5Mac, will include a fitness-tracking and health-monitoring app known as “Healthbook.”
Although it is impossible to know which iPhone rumors are true and which are pure speculation, there appears to be little doubt that consumers are ready for a new large-screen iPhone. According to a survey conducted by market research company 451 Research earlier this month, 40 percent of respondents were “somewhat likely” or “very likely” to purchase Apple’s iPhone 6 for themselves or a family member.
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