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The Apple iPhone is one of the most successful products ever released by the leading technology company. Version 4 was first introduced in June 2010. Version 4S was launched on October 4, 2011 and became available in US stores by October 14, 2011. Version 5 is widely expected to be released during 2012. Even though the company has not yet announced a firm release date for Version 5, Apple watchers are already speculating about the sixth incarnation of the product. Some analysts believe Version 6 will be released during 2013, or perhaps late this calendar year. Whatever launch date finally eventuates, the web is already rife with commentaries detailing the iPhone 6 expected features and specifications.
One reason perhaps contributing to super-early speculation about the Version 6 is that Version 5 is not expected to carry many innovations. In addition, Apple is under intense pressure from Smartphone competitors. By volume, the iPhone remains the largest selling Smartphone on the planet. However, market share data suggest Android phones have been slowly eroding the dominance of iPhone in the global Smartphone market. Android units are winning market share day by day. Accordingly, pundits expect the Version 6 will be a major launch to introduce many significant enhancements as Apple seeks to catapult itself well ahead of competitors.
Speculation covers a range of topics including an elegant overall design, curved screen design, p-Si LCD screen technology, inclusion of a projector, expanded storage, wireless charging, improved antenna design, a new tough display glass and an edge-to-edge screen.
Elegant Shape, Size and Overall Design and Size. Apple fans expect the Version 6 will have all elegance and attraction that have characterized all Apple products. A larger screen, thinner frame and lighter weight are all tipped. Jonathan Ive, senior vice president of design at Apple, is widely considered a brilliant contemporary designer and unlikely to disappoint with the iPhone 6.
Curved Screen Design. IPhone 6 is rumored to feature a radical curved screen. This design rumor appears to have originated because Apple reportedly contacted specialist, lens technology companies (like G-Tech and Fuji Crystal) to ask about the equipment necessary for polishing curved glass. It is not clear what benefits a curved screen would deliver to users. This same rumor emerged when speculation about the Version 5 first broke-out on the web.
p-Si LCD Screen. This much talked about feature seems to have created a lot of unnecessary confusion. Developed by the Sharp company, p-Si LCD is next generation technology for liquid crystal display. P-Si refers to PolySilicon Liquid Crystal Display. One of its major advantages is that it allows monolithic integration, meaning that the driver circuits powering the display are integrated directly into the display. As a result, the screen can be lighter, thinner and consume less battery.
Projector in iPhone 6It is widely rumored that iPhone 6 will have an in-built projector allowing users to project photographs (still images) and videos (moving images) on a nearby flat surface. This is likely to be a highly valued capability, even though the projection distance might be short.
128 GB Storage. There is strong speculation that Apple will add a whooping 128 GB storage option to Version 6. Currently, existing iPhones are available with 16 GB, 32 GB or 64 GB of storage. Similarly, some analysts expect Apple may introduce an external storage option.
Wireless Charging. The new Smartphone may have the ability to be charged wirelessly using inductive charging, an advanced form of electromagnetic. Solar charging is another possibility. Very few Smartphone producers are even contemplating these possibilities; Apple is way out ahead of the pack with these possibilities.
Gorilla Glass. The Japanese newspaper Nikkan has reported the Apple iPhone 6 will use a new, tough display material called Gorilla Glass. This material allows the phone to be lighter and thinner without degrading durability. There may also be some advantage in terms of lower battery consumption.
Antenna Design. Version 6 of the Apple iPhone is expected to an improved antenna design. This speculation seems to be linked to the farce and fiasco associated with the wrap-around antenna used for Version 4. Apple will not come up with entire new antenna altogether but apple is going to improve on current antenna design they have in iPhone 4s.
Edge-To-Edge Screen. The new Version 6 is expected to have a very distinctive edge-to-edge screen. This speculation stems from the fact that all of the main Apple Smartphone competitors have much bigger display screens. Version 6 is likely to have a 3.7-inch screen placing it on a par with competitors.
Home Button. It is also expected that Apple will remove the Home Button from the body iPhone 6. This changed design may even be introduced with Version 5.
Camera And Siri Personal Assistant. Interestingly, little speculation appears to have developed about the camera or Siri. The 4S Version has an 8-megapixel camera and Siri is its voice-activated "personal assistant" functionality.
Many iPhone 4 users were reported to have decided against upgrading to the upgraded 4S model due to lack of perceived benefits. Apple is likely to seek the rate at which Version 5 users upgrade to Version 6. The risk for Apple, however, is that pent-up demand causes 4s users to upgrade to the Version 5 and then stay put.
Given the short life-cycle of Apple Smartphones arising from its fast rate of new product introductions, it is important to note that several options are available for users to trade-in an existing unit and upgrade to a newer version. For example, Apple will accept working phones by mail and send users an Apple gift card reflecting the value of the unit as assessed by Apple. Secondly, consumers can use eBay and Craigslist to find a buyer for their used units. Thirdly, in the USA, users can also sell-back their units to large retailers like Target and Best Buy. These trade-in possibilities will make it easier for users to upgrade to the iPhone 6.
All in all, the Apple Smartphone is likely to continue as a global leader in the Smartphone market. Based on the above list the iPhone 6 expected features and specifications are leading edge enhancements and unlikely to disappoint consumers. Whenever it is launched, in 2013 or late-2012, the new unit is likely to drive higher sales, margin and profit for the Silicon Valley company.
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