Apple is holding a media event in its home town of Cupertino on 9 September, where it is due to announce the iPhone 6 in two sizes, plus an all-new wearable device dubbed iWatch.
Here is our guide to everything we think we know so far, and what we expect Apple to announce at the event.
iPhone 6: Design
Whole-number updates (as opposed to the 3Gs, 4s and 5s) always mean a visual redesign for Apple’s smartphone, and this year we’re set to see the biggest change yet. The iPhone 6 will feature a 4.7-inch display, much larger than the 4in iPhone 5s and in a different league when compared to the near-three-year-old 3.5in iPhone 4s.
Despite the bigger screen, the iPhone 6 will be thinner (and quite possibly lighter) than the 5s, which means a thickness of less than the already size-zero-esque 7.6mm of the current model. Glass and aluminium will be order of the day, as has become the Apple standard, and we expect to see the hugely popular gold colour option to make a return. The larger phone means a change of direction and strategy from Apple, which once said its 4-inch iPhone 5 was the perfect size, as all of the screen can be reached with your thumb.
Leaks from the producton line suggest it will borrow design cues from the original iPhone and its curved aluminium edges. Leaked SIM card trays claiming to be from the iPhone 6 suggest we'll see the same gold, silver and 'Space Grey' colour options as on the 5s.
It has been claimed that Apple will use its logo on the back of the phone to act as a notification light, flashing to alert you to texts, emails and missed calls. We believe the logo, previously etched onto the back, will be a seperate part (possibly made of plastic), but a recent rumour published by Wired has a different take. It claims the iPhone 6 will have NFC support (a first for any iPhone) to make payments; we reckon the plastic Apple logo could act as the contact point for NFC.
But we’re expecting even more - a huge 5.5-inch version of the iPhone 6 is hotly tipped to arrive before the end of the year, and although whispers from the production chain doubted it would be ready to launch alongside the 4.7-incher, we're now more confident of both being at the same event. Apple might announce two different release dates however, as it did when the first iPad was available as Wi-Fi-only at launch.
iPhone 6: Going Big
That 5.5-inch model will put Apple well and truly in the phablet market, which has so far been dominated by Samsung and its Galaxy Note range of plus-size handsets. That larger iPhone 6 is also expected to get some goodies missing from the regular 4.7in model. These include optical image stabilisation (OIS), which will see the rear camera lens suspended by springs to help make video super-smooth. More than that, OIS means the shutter can be kept open for longer, capturing more light and producing excellent night-time images without needing the flash.
Additionally, the 5.5in iPhone will get more storage, with 128GB on offer for the top-of-the range model. The rumour mills believe this will finally see the end of Apple offering a 16GB version at the bottom of the range - although we don’t yet know if the smaller 4.7in model will get a similar treatment.
Finally a quick word on sapphire crystal. Used instead of glass for the faces of wristwatches, sapphire is one of the strongest materials known to man - but it has always been too expensive to produce in the volume needed to cover a phone. Only Vertu uses it for its super expensive phones, but they costs upwards of £5,000.
Apple is said to be experimenting with sapphire crystal for the iPhone 6, but this might only be an option of the 5.5-inch model, which will presumably have a higher price and be sold as the more premium model.
iPhone 6 Processor and performance
Apple went all out with the iPhone 5s and its new 64-bit A7 processor, and while we don’t expect the same quantum leap in performance this time around, a speed bump to a new A8 chip is definitely on the cards. Apple is always cagey about the clock speed and RAM of its iPhone and iPad processors, so we don’t expect any such stats - instead we will see comparisons between the iPhone 6, iPhone 5s and its rivals.
We're yet to see leaks of a new processor, but with two weeks to go there's plenty of time yet.
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More importantly will be a much-needed improvement in battery life, thanks to the extra space available behind the bigger screens. Apple will no doubt have some software tweaks to help us get the most from the iPhone 6, but the jump to larger screens will hopefully see the handset’s biggest improvement in battery life to date.
Supply chain leaks claim the 6 will have a battery capacity of 1820mAh, up from 1560 in the 5s; meanwhile, the 5.5-inch model could be closer to 2,500mAh. Neither are aas large as the competition, but then the iPhone has neve matched its rivals for capacity - the real test will come when we finally get it in our hands.
iPhone 6: Health and Fitness
This is the big one. Apple has been rumoured to be developing a wearable device called the iWatch for more than a year, and it is finally expected to arrive alongside the iPhone 6. Very little is known about the device, but it is expected to work in partnership with the iPhone 6 - just as how the Samsung Gear 2 and Gear Fit share data over a Bluetooth connection with Samsung phones.
Apple has already announced the HealthKit app, which will come with iOS 8 when it arrives in the autumn, but so far this acts merely as a place to gather data collected from third-party fitness trackers from the likes of Nike and WiThings. We all thought the iWatch would arrive this year, but there still hasn't been a single leak of even one component of the gadget, making us wonder if it has been delayed to 2015 - that, or Apple has seriously upped it security game.
We reckon, being an entirly new product category, the iWatch hasn't yet eneterd mass production. Just like the iPhone, Apple will have created a few iWatches in Cupertino to show at the event, with mass production happening soon after. This could well push the iWatch release date into early 2015, as has recently been speculated.
iPhone 6: Launch date
Apple has invited the press to an event in Cupertino on 9 September. It starts at 10am local time, which is 6pm in the UK, and will last for approximately two hours. The company has not said anything about what will be announed at the event - the invitation merely states "we wish we could say more."
But what about a release date? Well the iPhone 5s was announced on 10 September last year and went on sale 10 days later; it's safe to assume, therefore, that the iPhone 6 (at least the 4.7-inch model) will go on sale on 10 September. This is a Friday, when Apple typically releases its new phone.
iPhone 6: Price
The iPhone 6 will not be cheap. Apple has increased the price of the iPhone gradually in recent years, and with the 5s currently starting at £529 for the SIM-free 16GB model, we can see the new model launching at around £549. We just hope the 16GB model has been ditched in favour of 32/64 and 128GB storage options to help soften the financial blow.
As for the larger 5.5in model, we imagine Apple will present this as the premium option and price it accordingly - we can’t see it starting for anything less than £600.