iPhone 6 rumored to have 802.11ac, NFC, 2GHz A8 chipset, and more!

iPhone 6 rumored to have 802.11ac, NFC, 2GHz A8 chipset, and more!

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?

Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!

Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

iPhone 6 rumored to have 802.11ac, NFC, 2GHz A8 chipset, and more!


Apple is about to play a blinder. There aren't really any significant features missing any more so the addition of a slightly larger screen is going to be the icing on the cake.
I think the real challenge is where to take it next though. Smartphone fatigue is coming. There's nothing really earth shattering happening amongst the competition so what is the next big thing?

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I don't think NFC will be on the new iPhone. If I'm going to ask Apple, I'll go with LoopPay's technology. No new hardware is necessary for any merchant to Support it. 90-95% of the merchants would be able to take payments today.

If you haven't seen the technology, go to loop pay's website.

"NFC is not needed on the iPhone." "What is NFC?" "NFC wont be popular until the iPhone has it."

Sorry..... but "Tap To Pay" is and has been almost everywhere for quite a while.

'bout time Apple. Better late than never. :)

Yeah right..... Keep on digging those credit cards out of your wallet. Dude, "Tap To Pay" is everywhere... everywhere. There is nothing dead about it... only in your mind.

NFC is awesome! Most MasterCard credit cards even include it by now (PayPass), so you can just touch your wallet to the terminal at the cash register and you're done. Would be great to have it work on the phone though, and it can also be used for certain device features that Bluetooth can't do (see the Kickstarter project "Asset" for example).

So glad apple is finally getting on board with NFC. I was sure it would be in the 5s. Now hopefully those tap-to-pay terminals will actually get used. Everywhere I used my Moto X, cashiers told me I was the first person they'd ever seen use it.

Nothing is confirmed about NFC. Previous iPhones have had NFC in prototype before and Apple chose not to ship it.

Don't get any NFC hopes up until Phil Schillers uses it to buy a burger live on stage.

"Don't get any NFC hopes up until Phil Schillers uses it to buy a burger live on stage."

Haha. That would be pretty awesome. They could do a CarPlay demo live on stage too. With any luck they could make it more engaging than the Google in the Car demo at Google I/O.

In terms of hardware the iPhone has really evolved to a point where most everything is going to be a "want" and not a "need." I will always take camera, processor, wifi, and ram improvements. Maybe I will realize a need for NFC when it arrives. Wireless charging sounds nice, but not until it doesn't have to be placed on a mat to do so.

However, top request would be killer battery life. Secondly, would love to see improvements to scratch resistance on the body and the screen along with water proofing so no case is needed.

But most of future improvements I am looking forward to come in the form of software (iOS 8 and beyond). Most exciting would be changes to allow me to get more done away from my Mac (print to PDF, attache in an e-mail reply, attach multiple attachments, etc...).

True. The reloading in Safari drives me nuts on my iPad (Air) as well. What's strange is that it occurs most often on my iPad (more often than any other recent iOS device that I have owned). It doesn't seem to occur much on my iPhone (5s).

"Wireless charging sounds nice, but not until it doesn't have to be placed on a mat to do so."

Best comment of the day. Wireless charging as we know it right now is such a gimmick. Wireless charging to me means beam power from a wall outlet automagically to my phone, not with some expensive mat (which still uses a wire by the way) that I have to buy a half dozen of to put everywhere and take full advantage of it.

If both of you have that used wireless charging.... If you have an iPhone then yku have not, its not a world change but it does feel good... So good you want it everywhere... Have a wireless charger at home, work, and take one when I travel... Love my Nexus phone.

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I admit that I have not but just for my situation I just don't see it as ideal. If it were native to the iPhone without using any type of case, it would be more attractive. With that said, I just don't see a burden in taking 5 seconds to pick up a cable and plugging it in. I've got too many vehicles, offices that I work out of, and frankly number of devices that I would have to change over.

You've to raise voltage (and power consumption) way too steep to achieve what alternatively can be achieved architecturally. Apple's been known to keep their core count and their CPU freqs low (e.g. 2x1.3GHz in iP5s). I hope they carry on.

I am glad that we are getting a bigger screen and having choices as well. Everything sounds really good, that is being rumored, I would like to have a nice pair of beats head phones (even though I have some buds already).

Oh my gosh! These are features that have been on Android and Windows Phone! Total originality and improvement!

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Welcome!! Now go take your seat in the corner with the other little trolls and we'll call you when it's your turn to talk.

Look mate, here's the deal. Companies will copy each other's shit, and will invent new stuff. Let's take voice assistants for example. Apple was first in the game with siri. Then google now came, but they chose to focus more on 'having the info when you need it' aspect of it. Now you have WP 8's Cortana, which is like a combination of both, but has implemented the 'notebook' feature. Similar things happened with the Notification Center, Widgets, true multitasking (Android) and the 'content before chrome' policy of WP7.
Innovation may be called innovation, but it can never be something completely new. It may be groundbreaking, yes, but it's still gonna evolve from existing tech.
Ios has been very original. So has WP been. As well as Android. And they all have also been blind copycats.

Actually, Samsung has S-Voice out for over a year before Siri....both Google Now and Cortana are a shitload faster, and way more accurate than apples little bitch Siri...

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Dude you're kidding, right? Natural voice input interaction for a voice came out a whole YEAR after siri (in 2012). Also, apple has had voice control on ios since ios (then known as iPhone os) v3. Where was android? Well at that time apple's 'bitch' was changing the diapers of the stupid green robot. Don't try to be a smartass if you aren't smart. Otherwise, you're just an ass.

I completely understand. It's just that when Apple releases it, it's a new fad and everyone acts like it's 100% new and the biggest thing. When Samsung released the s5 with a larger screen, no one cares. When Apple releases it, omg everyones gotta have it. I just make comments like the main because I'm tired of people being that way.

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That is very much true. Basically the only two smartphone events that the media talks about is the iPhone releases, and the MWC. Which is very stupid, since the MWC has dozens of companies, while the iPhone event usually has just one or two DEVICES. Basically the media is hung up on apple, and everything else is in the sidelines.

Btw, to anyone here who are thinking that I am an apple fanboy, I am proud to say that I am. I also am a proud fanboy of Windows Phone, and HTC.

Hopefully they increase RAM to at least 2gb. I grow tired of having to swipe apps away one by one to reduce stuttering and give YouTube buffering a kick.

What phone do you have? I don't experience any stuttering or sluggishness and I never force close apps--iOS manages that quite well.

Not well enough. I've had my reservations on iPhone purchase because my iPad 4, iPad 3, 2 minis, and 2 iPod touches, all of which I still own, all experience the exact issue I've described. An increase in screen resolution would only exacerbate the issue if a corresponding RAM increase does not ensue.

I want to only carry my iphone or watch. My phone should be the portal for everything. Money, car keys, ID. I am a guy and that is all I need. I also need waterproof iphone and long battery life as this is my end all be all device. I will up grade as I need/ want to.

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I think we need a boost in RAM. As out phones and tablets do more and more, I don't think a gigabyte is going to cut it anymore. Why not bump it to two?

Oh, and mr too-serious-to-understand-sarcasm, you are right in this comment. Beats suck. Bose is the best set of speakers I've ever heard. My two speaker (2.1) system provides better noise than most othe 5.1 systems. For all I care, beats can shove it.

Hoping for NFC and 802.11ac wifi speed to be done for the upcoming two new iPhones. but I'm waiting for my much I awaited for Apple Devices and I loved features in Lumia Windows Phones like
Wireless Charging technology and Wireless Charger or their own Apple Power Banks, and I think they should Invest for other Wireless charging company like QI Wireless Charging Company. And I want Apple Devices to have a Quad-Core Processors because they have been stick and stop on their Dual-core and I think they should revamp that if they want the new upcoming iPhones to become more powerhouse than ever. And I hope they would increased the megapixel of their camera and I hope they would have an optical Image stabilization with HDR or something "Pureview?" I hope They would have an official apple wallet app If they are planing to have an NFC on the upcoming iPhones!!! That's all!!! I will buy the new 5.5 inch iPhones if all of this will be done by Apple or else I will stick to Windows Phone Nokia Lumia Phablet Devices!!

I just don't get why wireless changing is a big deal. So I set it down on a dedicated mat instead of plugging it in. Not to mention I have about charging cables all over... Car, kitchen, office, work, bag, bed.... Do I now need charging mats all over?

I own an iPhone 5S and I'm ok with it. The only thing I hope is that Apple will use in the best way possible the 64-bit technology of the processor, keeping the 5S going as fast as now. With this kind of processor it's easier to keep it fast through the yrs, and I really hope will do it.

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Processor 2.5 Ghz , Ram 2 or 3 GB and Battery 3100 , Screen 4.7 ... IOS 8 , Camera Back 12 MP - Front 2 MP... etc etc etc
come on guys no one talking about Battery life... we need must must must bigger battery life at least 3000 mAh... currently Iphone 5s have only 1560 mAh... come on apple bring it to at least 2500 to 3000 ?