Archive of iPhone Rumors

Apple is planning on releasing three new iPhone models in the second half of 2015, according to a new report from DigiTimes. The site claims that a 4-inch iPhone model will join the 4.7-inch iPhone 6s and 5.5-inch iPhone 6s Plus.

iphone_screen_sizes
Apple will release three different iPhones in the second half of 2015, the iPhone 6S, iPhone 6S Plus and a 4-inch device currently being referred to as iPhone 6C, according to industry sources.
A new 4-inch iPhone was also rumored in December 2014, with a report claiming that the device would be aimed toward female users. However, even if a new 4-inch iPhone isn't introduced, Apple will presumably have the iPhone 5s to offer for free on a two-year contract once the current models slide down.

DigiTimes notes the 4-inch iPhone 6c is likely to be manufactured by Wistron while both the 6s and 6s Plus will be manufactured by Foxconn. In January, a report from Chinese site Feng.com claimed that Apple had not made any orders in its supply chain for a 4-inch iPhone.

Earlier this year, CEO Tim Cook said the new, larger iPhone models had brought the highest Android switcher rate over the past three years and that they brought in more newer customers than previous iPhone models. It's possible that Apple believes offering more sizing choices to customers could allow Apple to reach more customers, as Cook also mentioned different regions preferred different sizes.

Apple is expected to announce new iPhone models in September, with new additions to both the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus rumored to include 2GB of RAM and Apple's new Force Touch technology, which has already made its way into Apple Watch, the new MacBook and new 13-inch MacBook Pros.
Following a number of leaks last year that saw the company reveal the NFC-equipped logic board from the iPhone 6 and even build a booting device from parts in the weeks before the device's official debut, Feld & Volk moved quickly to launch its own versions of the device. The company specializes in modifying iPhones for the luxury market by replacing the standard rear shells with new ones made from other high-end materials, frequently including touches such as gold plating and lighted Apple logos.

Feld & Volk's first iPhone 6 offering was its Wood collection, priced at $3900, but the company is now moving forward with a number of new collections to be shown starting later this week at the Baselworld watch and jewelry expo in Switzerland.

feldvolk_iphone_6_wood
Feld & Volk's iPhone 6 Wood collection

Among the new materials being shown by Feld & Volk are carbon and titanium, with a new model pairing a carbon rear panel with a titanium frame and a glowing blue Apple logo. The iPhone 6 Carbon is already being featured by French retailer Colette, which notably was the site of the Apple Watch's first public appearance last September.

Other new collections from Feld & Volk will include one with alligator leather and another featuring a sapphire back with a titanium frame, and Feld & Volk is also teasing upcoming announcements involving illumination to build upon the company's glowing Apple logo feature.

feldvolk_iphone_6_carbon
Feld & Volk's iPhone 6 Carbon collection

While there has long been a market for modified luxury versions of Apple's products, the segment is seeing increased attention with the upcoming launch of the Apple Watch, with Apple itself selling 18K gold versions of the device priced at $10,000-$17,000. Feld & Volk and other similar companies are no doubt looking to capitalize on this move by Apple, and Baselworld is likely to be the site of a number of such announcements. Feld & Volk will be making additional announcements at the expo and will be providing updates on its site and Facebook page.
Apple will add pressure-sensing Force Touch technology to its next-generation iPhones, reports The Wall Street Journal in an article that covers a range of new details on the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus. Currently built into the upcoming Apple Watch and 12-inch Retina MacBook, Force Touch lets devices distinguish between a light tap and a hard press, enabling new gestures.

According to the report, which is sourced from Apple suppliers, Apple's next-generation iPhones will continue to be available in 4.7 and 5.5-inch screen sizes, with plans to "keep the resolution similar." New colors are a possibility though, and Apple is said to be considering adding a pink option to its existing space gray, silver, and gold iPhone lineup.

iphone6-stock
Production may begin on components for the next-generation iPhones as early as May, but The Wall Street Journal notes that Apple often tests technologies and designs with various suppliers that may not make it into finalized products.

Today's report echoes several other reports that have also pointed towards Force Touch for the next-generation iPhone. Supply chain sources first hinted at Force Touch technology back in January, and those rumors seem more plausible now that the feature has been incorporated into both the Apple Watch and Apple's recently announced MacBook.

Beyond the Force Touch rumors, little is known about the next-generation iPhones, which will likely be called the "iPhone 6s" and the "iPhone 6s Plus." The devices are expected to receive upgraded A9 processors and have been rumored to include features like camera upgrades, more RAM, and improved Touch ID. Apple will presumably release the new iPhones in September.
Apple has launched a worldwide "Shot on iPhone 6" advertising campaign involving 77 photographers, 70 cities and 24 countries, with iPhone 6 photography to be featured in magazines, newspapers, billboards, transit posters and more. The large-scale marketing initiative has started rolling out in several countries across the world this week, including the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Thailand, Malaysia, Tokyo and United Arab Emirates.

Shot on iPhone 6 LA Billboard
"Shot on iPhone 6" photo on billboard in Los Angeles (via Twitter)

A number of "Shot on iPhone 6" advertisements have begun surfacing on Twitter and Instagram over the past few days, with spots appearing on the back cover of The New Yorker magazine, horizontal posters in London's Euston Square subway station and in the Malaysian city of Bangsar, billboards in Los Angeles and Toronto, the side of a tall skyscraper in Dubai and more.

The New Yorker iPhone 6
"Shot on iPhone 6" photo on back cover of The New Yorker (via Twitter)

The photography campaign began with Apple promoting a world gallery of photos taken with the iPhone 6 on its homepage over the weekend, including photo apps such as Instagram, Snapseed, VSCO Cam, Filterstorm Neue, Camera+ and Adobe Photoshop Express used for editing and filtering. The majority of photos shown provide scenic views of the outdoors, ranging from mountains and deserts to lakes and waterfalls.
sensitive_largeThe so-called "iPhone 6s" and "iPhone 6s Plus" will reportedly adopt Force Touch, a feature that debuted on the Apple Watch in September, according to sources for AppleInsider. The next-generation iPhones are expected to retain the same physical design as the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, including 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch models. The report adds that the return of a 4-inch model appears unlikely for this refresh.

Force Touch uses tiny electrodes to distinguish between a light tap or deep press on the screen, prompting the software to perform a different action depending on how much pressure is exerted on the display. Apple would likely have to use a flexible OLED display on a future iPhone model in order for Force Touch to be possible on the smartphone. Apple calls Force Touch its most significant new sensing capability since Multi-Touch on its Apple Watch microsite.
"In addition to recognizing touch, Apple Watch senses force, adding a new dimension to the user interface. Force Touch uses tiny electrodes around the flexible Retina display to distinguish between a light tap and a deep press, and trigger instant access to a range of contextually specific controls — such as an action menu in Messages, or a mode that allows you to select different watch faces — whenever you want. It’s the most significant new sensing capability since Multi‑Touch."
Apple reportedly experimented with adding Force Touch to the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus last year, although calibration issues resulted in removal of the feature prior to the smartphones being released. The issues appear to have been resolved at this point, however, and Force Touch is now on Apple's upcoming roadmap. The so-called "iPhone 6s" and "iPhone 6s Plus" will presumably be announced next September.

The report also dismisses the rumor about next-generation iPhones gaining a DSLR-like dual-lens camera system, as implementing this feature would require redesigning the iPhone and moving away from the current chassis found on the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Last month, it was reported that the iPhone 6s will retain an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera sensor, although that does not limit other improvements from being made.

It was also rumored in January that the iPhone 6s will gain Force Touch and 2GB of RAM.
Apple has refreshed its homepage to showcase a gallery of photos taken with iPhone 6 across the world, unsurprisingly coinciding with today's announcements of the Samsung Galaxy S6 and HTC One M9 at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The gallery shows photos taken by iPhone 6 users in several countries, including the United States, Canada, Japan, Iceland, South Korea, China, Scotland, Indonesia, Thailand and New Zealand.

Apple World Gallery
Some of the photos have been filtered, enhanced or shared with apps such as Instagram, Snapseed, VSCO Cam, Mextures, Filterstorm Neue, Camera+ and Adobe Photoshop Express. "People take incredible photos and videos on iPhone 6 every day," writes Apple. "And here are some of our favorites. Explore the gallery, learn a few tips, and see what’s possible with the world’s most popular camera."


Update 2:00 PM PT: Rene Ritchie at iMore reports that this is just the beginning of an iPhone 6 photography campaign involving 77 photographers, 70 cities and 24 countries. Apple will be featuring photos taken with an iPhone 6 in print media, transit posters and billboards across the world.
"From Sydney to Beijing to San Francisco to New York City to London and more, Apple will feature the iPhone photographers and their work on posters at transit stops and stations and in newspaper ads and on billboards. Not the iPhone 6. Not its camera. Not product shots. But shots taken by the product — by the iPhone 6 camera."
iphone6_6plus_newSamsung Electronics has inked a deal with both Apple and LG to supply advanced DRAM memory chips in next-generation iPhones and the LG G4 respectively, according to sources "familiar with the deal" for The Korea Times.

The deal, rumored to be worth billions of dollars, would see Samsung produce at least half of the memory chips that Apple would need for its next-generation iPhone lineup. The report claims that Apple could ask Samsung to ramp up manufacturing of the chips if needed, with the alleged contract lasting at least a year.
"Under the agreement, Samsung will start providing LG Electronics with 100 percent mobile DRAM chips it needs for LG G4 smartphone, which will be unveiled in April. Also, Samsung will handle at least half of the amount that Apple needs for its new iPhone ― tentatively named iPhone 6S," an industry official who is familiar with the deal told The Korea Times.
The agreement was reached just a few months after Samsung began mass production of new 20-nanometer 8-Gigabit LPDDR4 memory chips, which are said to offer more than double the density and performance compared to its 4-Gigabit LPDDR3 predecessor. The sources say that on the LG side of things, Samsung will be providing 100 percent of the chips for the company's flagship G4 smartphone, set to be unveiled in the Spring.

Though Apple and Samsung have partnered in the past for manufacturing purposes, the two companies have been fierce rivals for several years. The two companies have dropped litigation against each other outside of the United States in recent months, however, and this agreement further suggests that the tech giants have an improved working relationship as of late.

While not expected to launch until September, news and rumors about the so-called "iPhone 6s" have begun circulating recently, with Samsung reportedly responsible for the majority of A9 chip production based on its 14nm process. Conflicting reports suggest that TSMC may supply Apple with the remaining chip orders.
iPhone 6 Touch IDKGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has provided reliable information about Apple's upcoming product plans in the past, claims that Apple's next-generation iPhone will feature an upgraded Touch ID module with reduced reading errors for an improved and safer Apple Pay experience.
"We think the new iPhone,expected to launch in 3Q15, will be equipped with an upgraded Touch ID module, with which Apple (US) intends to offer a better and safer Apple Pay user experience with reduced reading errors. We therefore raise our 2015F shipments of Touch ID module by 12.4% to 262mn sets, boosted by Apple Pay and new iPhone models."
Kuo told investors that he expects suppliers to ramp up for production of the improved Touch ID module shipments, which are expected to rise by 77% to over 260 million units, in the second quarter. The oft-accurate analyst added that the upgraded fingerprint scanner will "require more advanced precision for the module’s laser welding process."

KGI Touch ID Shipments
Sunnic and ASE Kuo are expected to be two of the main suppliers of components for Apple's new Touch ID alongside TSMC. Kuo predicts that Apple will release the next-generation iPhone in the third quarter of this year, lining up historically with past iPhone releases in September.

Kuo also points out that Touch ID embedded into a display is unlikely in the near term, despite several published patent applications from Apple on the topic. With a need for a sapphire display cover to minimize scratching and the complex algorithms needed for handling Touch ID within a display, it will be some time before such technology is ready for market.
iPhone 6 CameraiPhone camera module supplier Largan Precision is expected to face limited earnings growth this year amid rumors that Apple's next-generation smartphone will retain an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera sensor, according to Taipei Times (via GforGames).

The report cites Taipei-based analyst Jeff Pu, who claims the iPhone 6s will have the same camera hardware specifications as previous models. Apple first introduced an 8-megapixel rear camera on the iPhone 4s in 2011 and used similar modules for the iPhone 5, iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s.
Pu said that the camera specifications of the next-generation iPhone, dubbed iPhone 6S, will stay the same as the current iPhone 6 at 8-megapixels, limiting potential catalysts to push Largan’s stock price higher in the second half of the year. [...] Pu said that although the migration to 8-megapixel and 13-megapixel lenses would remain strong among Chinese vendors of mid-tier and low-end phones, upgrades to 16-megapixel and 20-megapixel lenses for flagship phones would be slow given the limited supply of CMOS sensors — used to convert light into electrons.
While details surrounding the so-called "iPhone 6s" remain limited, this report is consistent with Largan Precision's stock price dipping early last year amid rumors the iPhone 6 camera would retain an 8-megapixel sensor. Meanwhile, it was reported in November that the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus could have the "biggest camera jump ever" with a dual-lens, DSLR-quality system.
For the first time since 2012, sales of Apple's iPhone overtook sales of Android devices by a slight margin during the October to December 2014 period in the United States, according to the latest figures from Kantar Worldpanel (via TechCrunch). Apple's iPhone took a 47.7% sales share of the U.S. smartphone market while Android accounted for 47.6%, with Windows Phone accounting for 3.8% of sales.
kantarwpdec20142
In the US, Apple iOS overtook Android for the first time since this time in 2012, albeit by the slimmest 0.1% margin," reported Carolina Milanesi, chief of research at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech. “While the success of the iPhone 6 and 6Plus is unprecedented, this quarter’s performance also points to Apple having its strongest portfolio ever. With a range of devices available at different price points in both contract and pre-pay Apple was able to take advantage of a weaker Android offering at the premium end of the market.
Kantar also notes that the iPhone 6 was the best selling smartphone in the United States, and that the iPhone's market share rose 6.2% in Europe during the holiday quarter. By comparison, Android's share declined 3.8% overall in Europe, as Italy was the only country to experience market share growth. In China, Apple grew 2.2% to claim a 21.5% market share, with the growth attributed to the launch of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

During the company's earnings call last week, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that the launch of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus brought more Android switchers and new customers than prior models. The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus sold a record 74.5 million units during the holiday quarter, with a 46% growth when compared to last year and Apple's launch of the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c.
During today's earnings call covering the first fiscal quarter of 2015, Apple CEO Tim Cook was asked about the sales split between the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus. He declined to provide specific numbers on the split, but he did confirm that the iPhone 6 was the most popular device.

"Obviously to sell 74.5 million devices, they were all popular," Cook said. "Both did incredibly well. We're really proud of them, along with the iPhone 5s and 5c."

According to Cook, there was some clear geographical preference for the iPhone 6 vs the iPhone 6 Plus. Some locations skewed higher to iPhone 6 Plus preference, while others preferred the iPhone 6. He didn't specify which regions preferred which devices, but data has suggested Asian countries favored the iPhone 6 Plus.

iphone6-stock
During the call, Cook also mentioned that the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus brought the highest Android switcher rate over the course of the last three years and that there's still a lot of opportunity to see growth as only a "small fraction" of existing iPhone users (in the low teens) have upgraded to a new device. The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus have brought the highest number of customers new to iPhone than in any prior iPhone launch. "We saw more new customers to iPhone than we've ever seen before," said Cook.

Cook said the company is getting "great feedback" about the quality of the products that they're shipping, and that in emerging markets, iPhone growth was "absolutely stunning." The company is very bullish on the iPhone going forward, expecting to see a lot of new adopters in Q2 2015 as well.

"We believe that it's the best smartphone in the world," said Cook.

Apple managed to reach supply/demand balance on the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus in January, when shipping dates finally hit 24 hours. Before that, iPhone supplies remained somewhat constrained throughout the holiday season.

Today's earnings report revealed record iPhone sales, at 74.5 million, or 46 percent growth year over year. The iPhone makes up an impressive 69 percent of Apple's revenue, which hit $74.6B during the quarter.
A day before the company is set to announce earnings for its first fiscal quarter of 2015, Financial Times highlights a recent report suggesting Apple may report it sold more iPhones in China than in the U.S. for the first time ever.

According to analysts from financial firm UBS, China accounted for 36 percent of iPhone shipments in the most recent quarter, compared to 24 percent for the U.S. The analysts also compared the numbers to 2013, noting that a year before China accounted for only 22 percent of shipments with the U.S. at 29 percent.

iphone6plus
Creative Strategies analyst Ben Bajarin concurs with the UBS report, believing around 2 million more iPhones were sold in China than in the U.S. during the quarter. With the upcoming launch of the Apple Watch, he also believes it's just the beginning of the country's fiscal dominance over Apple sales.
“It’s already been a good year, building up to the climax of this quarter,” said Bajarin, referring to Apple’s momentum in the world’s largest smartphone market. “It leads to a lot more optimism for China . . . Their potential headroom in China is higher than it is here [in the US].

They will likely do more in China than US from here on out,” he said. “It certainly shows how important the China market is to Apple’s upside.”
Apple has been emphasizing the importance of China for the company for some time, most recently meeting with the Chinese government to discuss data privacy and security, partnering with popular mobile payment service Alipay, and planning multiple Apple Store openings like the one in Chongqing opening this week.

On the distribution front, 2014 most notably saw a partnership between Apple and the world's largest carrier, China Mobile. The partnership allowed iPhones to be sold in 3,000 more cities where Apple previously had very little presence, undoubtedly aiding the Cupertino-based company rising Chinese in recent quarters.