New reports from the Chinese media have reported that the Apple iPhone 6 has entered the final product validation testing stage ahead of mass production before it’s fall launch. Sources claim that the company is working with Foxconn’s Zhengzhou factory to produce a handful units to ensure quality control standards have been adhered to. After this stage is completed, the device will then be mass produced at Apple’s various supply partners.
With regards to hardware, VentureBeat mentioned a new 2.0 GHz A8 chip, NFC capabilities, and 802.11ac WiFi. All these features have previously been pointed out to probably make an appearance on the iPhone 6 spec sheet. It also suggests the device will use Qualcomm’s MDM9x35 cellular modem along with an NFC chip made by NXP and a WiFi chip from Broadcom. Apple’s Touch ID fingerprint sensor is said to include minor improvements that speed up read times, cut down on false rejections and improve security for mobile payments and biometrics. Nevertheless, the source suggests the iPhone 6 will not use a sapphire screen which contradicts other leaks as you will see later on. VentureBeat also suggests that Apple is experimenting with special connectivity between the iPhone and Beats headphones using the Lightning connector. However, this site hasn’t proven to be that reliable of a source in the past.
Above, you will see a leaked image of the logic board claimed to be for the iPhone 6 fully assembled and ready to go. Couple features like the nano-SIM slot and a flash storage chip are obviously made by Toshiba and are visible. However, the more interesting components of the board cannot be seen as they seem to be under the electromagnetic shielding. The silver component at the bottom of the board on the left definitely seems to be the Wi-Fi module.
Turning to the sapphire glass rumors, it seems both variants will be getting the sapphire love but this will come with a higher price. Nevertheless, this will only be for to the higher end models. Apple’s rumored plan is to release a limited number of iPhone 6s with the sapphire glass and charge more for these special editions. Apple is investing a huge amount of money into partner GT Advanced’s sapphire plant. The tech giant has forked out more than $500 million to equip the factory with high-output furnaces for sapphire production. Rumors have suggested GT Advanced has the capability to eventually produce enough sapphire to churn out 100 to 200 million iPhones but other rumors have pointed towards high costs and production problems as limiting factors.
Apple Insider on the other hand, reported that Cowen & Co. analyst Timothy Arcuri claims that the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 might include a more powerful processor and a different touch module than the 4.7-inch variant. Details on the degree of processor difference are unclear. However, it is suggested that it will most probably go beyond a simple difference in clock speed. The analyst suggests the processor in the faster 5.5-inch iPhone 6 will be equipped with a larger die than the version found in the smaller variant. This may indicate an A8 processor with a different graphics processor or possibly a new process for the fabrication of the chip that will be used in the larger variant. He further believes that both models will ship with different touch modules with TPK as the most probable manufacturer.
Nowhereelse.fr has shared more photos which claims to be various iPhone 6 parts which include the embedded rear Apple logo, external camera ring, Touch ID home button enclosure and flex cables. Some of the components such as the headphone jack, lightning port connector and Touch ID home button enclosure seem be similar to those found in the iPhone 5s. However, Apple has not used an embedded logo on the iPhone since the original iPhone in 2007. It was stated last week that the embedded logo may be made of an incredibly scratch-resistant metal, maybe Liquidmetal alloy. The external camera ring also makes an appearance and may indicate that at least one iPhone 6 model may have a protruding lens.
Also, according to The Information, Apple is looking to launch a mobile wallet with the iPhone 6. The company is reportedly discussing partnerships with a handful of banking institutions and credit card associations, including Visa who has reported to have agreed to work with the unannounced payments product. The purported system will store user’s financial credentials on their smartphone’s secure element, a tamper-resistant piece of hardware meant to house sensitive data. Details about how Apple intends to handle information transfer remain unclear. It is believed that the company has informed partners that it intends to utilize near-field communication chips. One of The Information‘s sources has also stated that Apple may opt to focus on Bluetooth or Wi-Fi instead.
Images of the latest lightning cable surfaced as well and this time it seems to be equipped with a reversible USB connector. The photo as per above shows the new versus the old. From what we see, the USB connector of the alleged newer cable is attached to the center. Hence, it is possible that the new Lightning cable could utilize USB 3.0 technology although this is not suggested with any further proof in evidence. The new lightning cable could also feature support for high-definition audio playback on Made for iPhone accessories.
This week, we also learned that two variants of the iPhone 6 will definitely be launched as Takorn Tantasith, Secretary General of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) in Thailand, announced that the agency has approved Apple’s application to distribute two iPhone 6 models in the country. The Secretary tweeted word of the approval from his @TakornNBTC Twitter account. Apple allegedly filed the import application on August 5th and received certification of equipment and a written approval notice on August 8th for two iPhones with model numbers A1586 and A1524. According to government regulations, these approvals must be announced publicly but details on the iPhone 6 handsets referenced in the documents remain sealed.
Sonny Dickson, a reliable source who frequently posts leaks released images alleging to be identical to the rear shell shared by luxury modified iPhone vendor Feld & Volk, hinting that this may be a legitimate component. This newest rear shell displays a handful of physical features which include a near-all metal design with upper and lower bezels, a cutout for the new round “True Tone” dual-LED flash as well as a cutout for the rear camera that may hint at a protruding lens for the device.
On the topic of the iPhone 6 rear shell, luxury modified iPhone vendor Feldvolk released a couple of images as well. The first image claims to be the set of parts includes a long flexible cable. As with the previous leak, Feld & Volk speculates that it could be for the home button. The next one gives us a good look at the volume button cutouts, which have now been recessed slightly in a change that will allow for a lower profile along the edges and decreased likelihood of accidental volume changes. Feld & Volk’s photos also offer a look at the embedded Apple logo which supports previous leaks mentioned above. The last photo shows what seems to be an external camera ring, which measures 6.66 mm in diameter and reportedly fits perfectly on the rear camera hole of the shell.
In addition, the photo above shows a new round version of the True Tone flash. The part displays both white and amber LEDs within a single round flash component. Apple added the dual-LED True Tone flash to the iPhone 5s, replacing the white-only flash module in previous iPhone models. The True Tone flash includes both white and amber LEDs in order to improve white balance and add support for more than 1,000 different color temperatures. Apple may also improve the photo-taking abilities of the iPhone 6 with an enhanced camera module featuring either optical or electronic image stabilization.
With the rear shell covered, let’s move on the front panel of the iPhone 6. Taiwanese Apple news website AppleClub has shared a couple of new photos of the alleged front panel from the 4.7-inch iPhone 6. The images are consistent with prior leaks of the iPhone 6’s front panel, showing a larger screen, a thinner bezel, rounded edges, and a cutout for the Touch ID home button. The panel depicted also features the front-facing camera and the ambient light sensor located on the left and at the top respectively, which is similar to the design of the iPhone 4.
Feldvolk posted its share of images as well regarding the front panel of the device. The photos highlight how the edges of the front panel taper. Those tapered edges should sit essentially flush with the edges of the rounded rear shell, providing for a sleek, nearly seamless look and feel for the iPhone 6.
Along with that, we see extreme close ups of the nice silver metal finished SIM tray as well as of the power button and mute switch. Feld & Volk claims that the volume buttons will be of very similar design and finish. The design of the mute switch is very different from that seen in other recent iPhones, as the new switch appears to pivot slightly on a pair of internal pins while switches on other recent iPhone models have been of a flat slider type. The design change may be due to the iPhone 6 having rounded sides as opposed to the flat sides seen since the iPhone 4.
Last but not least, battery. There have been a more than a couple of claims here and there. The gist of it is ESM-China electronics analyst Sung Chang Xu claiming that the final version of the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 will actually feature a 2,100 mAh battery instead of the previously rumored 1,810 mAh capacity. Citing sources at supply chains across China, the analyst also adds that the previous images of the battery showed test units hence, are not reliable. On the other end of the spectrum, we have new photos as seen above that actually support the 1,810 mAh capacity rumor instead of the analyst’s opinion. The one battery shown in closeup does include a manufacturing date of June, making it several months old, while the original leaked battery had a more recent manufacturing date of July. Still, the growing evidence for the 1,810 mAh battery suggests the analyst claim of a larger battery may indeed be totally off base. The photos offer a good look at the batteries, which appear to contain the full set of regulatory and specification text as well as an Apple logo, with one photo showing the batteries in trays for shipment. However, we should note that a purported photo of the 5.5-inch iPhone 6’s battery on Chinese site Apple Daily alleges that the larger new iPhone could have a capacity of 2,915 mAh. The photo shows the battery carrying an Apple part number of 616-0675 and that it runs at 4.35 volts, although no model number is shown. With all these rumors running around, we’re hoping for the largest possible battery capacity so the iPhone 6 may stand at least on equal grounds with the 5.1-inch Samsung Galaxy S5’s 2,800 mAh battery.
Rumors have also been speculating that the Cupertino company could not confirm a launch date due to delays caused by production issues with the larger 5.5 variant of the iPhone 6. Others claim that Apple will set a launch date in December as a strategic move to release it at the end of the year. Now, credible sources state that a date of announcement of the gadget has been set for September 9th. With shipments arriving to customers as early as the following Friday, September 19th. The dates do tally with Apple’s previous trend as the iPhone 5s/5c also saw a early September launch with shipments starting ten days later.