With the iPhone 6 event expected for September 9, rumors are going to give us a whole new definition of crazy. We're not talking an espresso machine in the Lightning port here, but we are talking a harder — though not sapphire hard — screen, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, near-field communications (NFC), a 2 GHz Apple A8 system-on-a-chip (SoC), and perhaps even a special way to pair with Beats headphones. That's all according to a source at Venture Beat:
Our source stresses that the above represents the picture of the devices today and that, in the past, specific features have disappeared from the shipping product in the final weeks before launch. So this may not be the final spec list for the shipping phones.
Of course, the story has "confirmed" in the title (and "exclusive"!), but as any reasonable person knows, nothing is confirmed until Tim Cook and company take the stage, show the slides, and send out the press releases. Then it's confirmed.
Right now all we have is fun speculation. So, how does it all break down?
It seems highly likely we'll be getting a 4.7-inch iPhone 6 next month, and 5.5-inch iPhone then or sometime following as well. Sapphire is a technology Apple has been investing in heavily, but for tens of millions of devices cost and yield might not be there yet.
802.11ac could have rolled out last year, since Apple's Macs and routers have supported it since then. That makes it even more likely for this year.
Apple has tested NFC in previous generation iPhones but ultimately decided not to ship it, preferring Bluetooth Low Energy (LE) for their proximity based features. If there's something specific Apple wants to support — for example, existing tap-to-pay systems — and NFC is the only way to do it, then there's no reason they can't ship it.
The Apple A8, like previous generation Apple SoCs, will have to carefully balance processing power with power efficiency. How fast it runs and for how long will depend on thermal issues, and a big iPhone will have a big battery, which supplies power but also insulates in all that heat. Given Apple's history, enough speed but not unnecessary speed is how they'll likely go. That means big bursts but also big drops.
As to special connection methods for Beats headphones — it's an Apple company now and if Apple can provide ways to make the best Beats experience the one that includes iPhones, iPads, and Macs, they'll likely do it. The question is how and how long will it take.
Again, nothing is confirmed when it comes to the iPhone 6 until Tim Cook and company take the stage next month.
Until then, let me know — any of this excite you?