iPhone 6 to get a 9 September launch – what we ‘think’ we know so far

6 Aug 2014

Apple is now expected to hold an event to introduce its new iPhone devices on 9 September, when it is also expected to launch two new larger-screen devices.

“We are incredibly excited about the upcoming releases of iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite, as well as other new products and services that we can’t wait to introduce,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO in recent weeks, when Apple revealed it sold 35m iPhone devices in its third quarter.

The timing is consistent with Apple’s tradition of revealing new hardware just a few weeks before it becomes available.

No one can deny the smartphone revolution didn’t truly begin until former Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveiled a mysterious new device called the iPhone in January 2007. For three years before that, Apple was hard at work on a top secret project code named ‘Project Purple’.

Within a year, the apps revolution kicked off with the opening of the App Store and since then Apple has been battling many competitors, chiefly because of Google’s Android operating system, that includes Samsung, Sony, LG and now a new coterie of fast-emerging players, such as Xiaomi, Lenovo and Huawei.

In recent years, the trend has been towards larger-screened devices, including ‘phablets’, which are large-screened mobile computers that are a cross between a smartphone and tablet computers.

So what do we know about Apple’s plans for 9 September? More correctly what do we ‘think’ we know, since Apple only truly knows what it is about to reveal:

  • Apple is planning two devices that are larger than the 4-inch iPhone 5s and 5c devices: a 4.7-inch model and a 5.5-inch model.
  • Apple is understood to be preparing to release a large-screen iPhone 6 that will have 1,704 x 960 resolution versus the 2X resolution of 1,137 x 640 in the current iPhone 5s.
  • The smartphone’s Retina display will remain in a 16:9 format and the new device will be taller and wider than the current iPhone 5 family, which has a 4-inch screen.
  • If the device turns out to be 4.7 inches, the new iPhone 6 will have a display density of 416 pixels per inch (PPI).
  • However, if the device reaches ‘phablet’ proportions at around 5.5 inches, the device would have a display density of 356 PPI.
  • In what could be the largest initial production of iPhone devices to date, Apple is understood to have ordered up to 80m units of big-screen versions of the reportedly forthcoming and so-called iPhone 6 to be manufactured by year end.
  • New device categories, including an iWatch smartwatch and a revamped Apple TV set-top device aimed at the digital home and the ‘internet of things’, may also get a big reveal on 9 September.
  • To compete with Apple, Samsung will in the coming weeks – possibly in time for IFA 2014 – unveil a new high-end smartphone called the Galaxy Alpha that it aims to have in the marketplace ahead of the Apple iPhone 6. Samsung’s competing device will be a mix between the Galaxy S5 and the Galaxy Note phablet computer/phone.

In related news, it has emerged that Samsung and Apple have agreed to drop all patent suits against each other in countries outside the US. These include cases in Australia, Japan, South Korea, the Netherlands, the UK, France and Italy.

The agreement does not include licensing agreements of any kind.

Apple has also filed for HealthKit trademarks with classifications for watches, fitness sensors and medical devices in both the US and Europe ahead of the iOS 8 launch.

iPhone image via Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years