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HindustanTimes Thu,23 Oct 2014
iPhone 6: Rumour report card
Rajiv Makhni, Hindustan Times
August 14, 2014
First Published: 13:50 IST(14/8/2014)
Last Updated: 11:54 IST(17/8/2014)
Techilicious columnist Rajiv Makhni

Last year, around this time, I had done an iPhone 5 report card. I’d taken all the rumours flying around and added my predictions about which ones would finally become reality with the new phone. That report card had done quite well as I got 80 percent of the new iPhone 5S rumours correct.

Also read: All about iPhone 6: release date, specs, pics

Thus, in a world where sequels tend to do better then the original, here’s my report card on the new about-to-be-released iPhone 6.

Rumour: Two new iPhone 6s, one a bit bigger and one phabletish level
Prediction: The rumours are quite clear on this one. Two new phones will be released and will bump up the screen size to 4.7 and 5.5 inches respectively. Both will also have a higher resolution than before at 1704x960. I’m calling this an absolute yes. It’s important for Apple to have bigger-display phones as that is what the world is buying and a 4-inch has started to look ancient. Also, Apple needs a bigger portfolio of phones and choices, thus two screen sizes here will help. The iPhone 5S, at 4 inches, will remain a part of the line-up.

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Rumour: The 5.5-inch phone won’t be released right away as they have huge production problems
Prediction: Ha Ha. That’s funny not because of the rumour but the reason given to justify it. The probability that the 5.5-incher will be made available two months after the release of the 4.7-inch phone will be more a business strategy than due to production screw-ups. Apple wouldn’t want to cannibalise sales of either phone with the other, thus it will first pick up the initial euphoric sales from the 4.7-incher. Then, once again, have a second surge when they release the 5.5-incher. I’m going with a yes on this one too.

Rumour: The new phones will no longer go with a number after the name, but have cool names like iPhone Air and iPhone Air Maxx
Prediction: I love this rumour, not because it’s true but because it may just break the monotony of the name-and-number army-style regime that has continued for way too long. If Apple breaks it, others will too and that may well be the end of the confusion of 5S,Vs, S5, S5.5. Also, as these phones are supposedly super-thin at 6mm, the Air nomenclature will be a great PR and marketing tool too. But will it happen? I’m going with the name of iPhone 6 for the 4.7 and praying for the 5.5 to be called the iPhone Air. iPhone Air Maxx? I truly hope none of us have to live long enough when we have Apple coming up with a name like that and that too with two XXs!

Rumour: The new screens will be sapphire glass, impossible to break or crack or scratch
Prediction: Apple has been heavily investing into sapphire glass technology and there are tonnes of videos that show no breakage when the glass is thrown onto sharp rocks. That would mean that this too is true and the iPhone 6 will be indestructible. Unfortunately, I’m calling this one a no-go. This is still nascent technology. Plus, it’s very expensive and will need some more time to go mainstream. Apple does lead from the front when it comes to revolutionary new tech, thus, maybe one special version of one of the phones may have it, but it may not be a standard feature for all phones.

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Rumour: The classic home button will be replaced with a gesture-based lower strip that is all touch
Prediction: Apple does need to shake things up, especially on design and control and, the iOS8 is ripe for something gesture-based. Also, the level of control that a single home button gives is becoming woefully inadequate. This would be a welcome feature, it will take all other companies back to the drawing board and change the entire ergonomics of these new phones. Unfortunately, the Achilles heel for this dramatic change may well be the recently introduced fingerprint scanner. It may not function well if embedded underneath a gesture-based touch strip. Until the time the whole screen can be made into a fingerprint scanner (you scan by putting your finger anywhere on the screen), this whole gesture-based add-on may just be a pipe dream.

Rumour: What  about liquid metal, battery, processor, curved screen, camera and a solar-charging screen?
Prediction: Liquid metal is a no as this technology is still a work in progress. So maybe on the iPhone 7. More efficient A8 chips on both phones should happen. The battery may get a bump up with the 4.7 getting a 2100mAh and the 5.5 a 2600 mAh battery. A curved screen from Apple is a wishlist not a rumour till Apple comes up with a foldable iPhone. The optics may get bumped up to 11 or 13 megapixels and also get Optical Image Stabilisation. I’m not even going to get into this mad euphoria about the iPhone 6 coming with solar-charging front screen as that would make the iPhone super thick.

Rumour: The iPhone 6 will be much more expensive and the bigger 5.5 will hit the price stratosphere
Prediction: Apple may be a crazy company, but they aren’t insane! In a world of amazing phones at cheap prices, Apple’s minimum goal will be to maintain the price line. The 5.5 maybe a $100 more.

Rumour: Apple has to release the iWatch with the new iPhones to lock in the market
Prediction:  It won’t happen as Apple would never dilute the demand or the market for either the new iPhones or the all new iWatch by releasing them together. January 2015 may well be iWatch time

There you have it. My iPhone 6 rumour report card. How well did I do? All we have to do now is wait for September 9 for you to mark me on it!

Rajiv Makhni is managing editor, Technology, NDTV, and the anchor of Gadget Guru, Cell Guru and Newsnet 3

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