for our list of August’s hottest selling smartphones to see how the iPhone fared against the competition, or
for our top 10 list of best smartphones in 2013 (so far).**
Now that the iPhone 5s and 5c are available, why not look ahead to the next big smartphone release? OK, instead, let’s look way into the future at the iPhone 6. It’s never too early to start thinking about Apple’s next handset.
First, the release date: Apple already broke from tradition by introducing two iPhones at once this month, so, despite the wild speculation that the iPhone 6 could be on tap as soon as the first quarter of 2014, don’t bet on seeing it until this time next year.
Second, how about a larger screen? For years, Apple how it wasn’t that concerned with competition from Samsung and others who are producing bigger phones. Then, last year, the iPhone maker offered up a four-inch device that was significantly larger than its previous version. Now that five-inch screens are becoming commonplace (six inches and even larger are showing up also), it’s hard to imagine that Apple won’t deliver something that’s at least 4.5 inches next year, if not larger.
Next, the processor. The one in the iPhone 5s definitely makes it run faster than its predecessor, but the dual-core, 1.3GHz offering is measly compared to the quad-core, 1.9GHz that Samsung delivers in its Galaxy S4, a phone that’s been on the market for months.
NFC, already! For the past two or three years, pundits have been predicting that the new iPhone would come with near-field communication technology that would make more mobile payments possible. NFC is standard on many Android phones, so it’s time, Apple.
More camera megapixels. Nokia is finding a niche in the market with its powerful cameras; the Lumia 1020, for instance, features one with 41MP. The camera on the 5s is certainly an upgrade, but it’s not quite where we want it to be just yet.
Wireless charging. Talk about convenience. That, however, is probably the longest shot of anything on this list.
What some perceive as a lack of innovation didn’t stop Apple from selling 9 million iPhones in the first three days of being on the market last weekend. Expect those numbers to grow as many U.S. regional carriers get their hands on the new phones beginning Oct. 1.
Assuming Apple follows tradition, 2014 could be a big year. Beginning in 2011, Apple started releasing “S” models in odd-numbered years that were only moderate upgrades to previous iPhones. So next September’s release date could bring that bigger, more powerful, NFC-packed, wirelessly charged Apple iPhone 6 with a super camera that you’ve been waiting for.
Follow senior online managing editor @Craig_Galbraith on Twitter.