With the recent release of the long awaited iPhone 5, fans have tried hard to conceal their disappointment. Sales have not boomed through the roof as predicted, and users are waiting to gauge the general attitude towards the new model before rushing out to purchase their own.
With the regular release of new Android phones, as well as the emerging Windows Phone, which both offer much the same as the iPhone, critics have suggested the Apple needs to do more to ensure that they continue to dominate the smartphone market.
As a result, rumours have been spreading like wild fire regarding the new iPhone 6 (or 5S?). Apple hasn’t even announced a launch date yet, but observers are speculating that the company is planning to wait less than their usual 12 months between new models.
So if the iPhone 6 is on its way, what can we expect?
The near-field communication chip (NFC) is essentially a chip incorporated into your mobile phone handset which can allow you to pay for items, such as your weekly shopping, or a new wardrobe on the high street, without using your debit card or cash.
Though some people are concerned about the safety of conducting these types of payments via a mobile phone, many others are eager to embrace a new era in electronic transactions. In fact, rumours suggest that this level of innovation was what was expected of the iPhone 5.
The rumours spiralled when it emerged that apple had been in talks with an Australian security company concerning using fingerprint technology in order to bump up the security of using NFC as a means of making payments.
However, other critics have warned that NFC chips might be a long time coming in the iPhone, because the nature of banking is an entirely different business that Apple are not experts in.
Whether the NFC features in the next iPhone or not seems to depend on when Apple decide to launch their new model; if they choose to release it sooner rather than later in order to compete against the constant unveiling of brand new Android models, the iPhone 6 may appear without such ground-breaking new features.
Various rumours that have been circulating focus on the potential design of the new iPhone 6. It has been suggested that, following suit of most other smartphones, Apple will release the new model in a variety of colours. The likelihood of Apple moving away from its stylish monochrome colour scheme is debatable, however. Alone, it certainly won’t be enough to surge the iPhone 6 into top of the rankings either.
Other rumours surrounding the new iPhone’s design do suggest that it will feature a larger, 4.8 inch screen, in keeping with the general smartphone trend that bigger is better. With handsets such as the Samsung Galaxy S3 and even the Note 2 becoming increasingly popular because of their large dimensions, it seems only good sense that Apple would at some point follow suit.
Many images have also emerged on the internet, supposedly demonstrating what the new iPhone will look like. Anyone can simply type ‘iPhone 6’ into their browser to see just how many images appear- and how widely they vary in design.
Some reports say that the iPhone 6 will be longer, whereas others disagree, insisting it must go wider. One thing that people do seem to agree on, however, is that the new model will probably look thinner. At 7.6mm, the iPhone 5 is hardly a bulky phone. But compared with many smartphones out there, such as the HTC One S, or Samsung Galaxy S3, the iPhone has a cumbersome look about it, perhaps due to its square edges.
Apple’s recent ventures have not gone unnoticed by fans and technical nerds around: it would appear that the company have placed a patent application into wireless charging technology. This has obviously led to the assumption that the iPhone 6 will make use of this technology, being the first to successfully achieve wireless battery charging.
Although Nokia has already developed wireless battery charging for some of its Lumia models, it would seem that in order for the phone to charge, the device has to be physically touching the charging pad. It is rumoured, however, that the Apple wireless charging technology will enable any iPhone to charge wirelessly from up to a metre away from the charging device.
Essentially, speculation regarding the features and design of the new iPhone 6, which may even turn out to be the iPhone 5S, is rife; here we have only outlined the most popular rumours floating around. But believe me, there are some wacky ones out there. After the disappointment of the iPhone 5, Apple really needs to pull something out of the bag if they are to climb back to the top of the smartphone ladder again. With Samsung and Nokia releasing newer, bigger, and smarter phone each quarter, the real question is whether Apple can afford to wait an entire year before launching a new model. If that is the case, it’s going to have a lot to live up to.Written by Charlotte Kertrestel