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iPhone 6 Release Date, Specs: Whats Real and What Isnt

**Editor’s Note: Click here for our ranking of April’s hottest selling smartphones to see how Apple’s iPhone fared against the competition.**

What we know officially about the upcoming iPhone 6, to be honest, is very little. That’s because Apple’s door of secrecy is made of six-inch steel. But there’s always plenty of speculation surrounding the annual release, and this year is no different.

Let’s break down the rumors floating around what is the most talked-about announcement in tech every year. Which is most likely and which is least likely on a scale of one to 10 (one being least likely and 10 being the most)?

What to expect from a new iPhone is always tough to call.The iPhone 6 will launch in September or October (9): Consumers and businesspeople who look forward to that story every year about an “earlier-than-expected release date” got one a few days ago, but don’t bet on it. There’s no reason to think that the Silicon Valley giant will break recent tradition and put the next iPhone on sale any earlier than fall.

Apple will introduce the iPhone 6 at its Worldwide Developers Conference in June (2). This seems nearly out of the question since the company has already announced that it will once again focus on software at the annual event. But we’ll leave the door slightly open for a surprise.

The iPhone 6 will feature a larger screen than its predecessor (8). All of the talk is pointing toward a bigger screen. Considering the competition from Samsung and other Android manufacturers who are introducing almost nothing but five-inch-and-larger handsets, it’s hard to imagine that Apple would not offer a screen bigger than the four inches on the iPhone 5s. The company last increased its display size in 2012, which was also the first time it did so.

Apple will actually unveil two versions of the iPhone 6 this fall, a 4.7-inch handset and one that is roughly 5.5 inches (6). This seems to be the prevailing opinion, but we’re hesitant to endorse it fully. This move would certainly give the company’s customers options that they appear to be clamoring for, but it also seems like a mighty big step for Apple, which has proven to be fairly conservative in the past and hasn’t felt the need to conform. Releasing two new phones wouldn’t be a first for Apple; the iPhone maker did so last year when it rolled out the 5s and the 5c – the latter of which was not a huge success – another reason for our hesitation about a second device.

If Apple does offer the two phones, the larger one won’t be ready until the holidays or in early 2015 (3). We’ve seen the reports that the so-far mythical 5.5-inch handset won’t come out at the same time as the smaller version. We find that to be doubtful. Expect Apple to keep their device-refresh cycle simple, not scattered throughout the year.

The iPhone 6 will have a sleeker design than its predecessor (8). We believe that reports of narrower bezels and more of a curved edge to the iPhone will come to fruition. Apple’s baby needs at least a slight physical upgrade. Look for it to be a little thinner than the last iteration as well.

The new iPhone will have a much-improved camera (3). It depends on how you define “much-improved,” but photography has never been a strength for Apple, at least compared to some of its competitors such as Nokia/Microsoft. Expect to see better stability when you snap your photos, but no upgrade in megapixels.

The iPhone 6 will finally include near-field communications (NFC) technology (5). We’re completely on the fence on this one. It’s one of those rumors that pops up every year, but Apple has seemed to be satisfied without adopting it. The company has not felt NFC to be necessary as a vehicle to expand mobile-payment possibilities. 

Follow senior online managing editor @Craig_Galbraith on Twitter.


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