Apple’s iPhone 7 is not going to be with us until late next year, but what if you’re in the market for a new iPhone right now?
The Apple iPhone 7 is due to launch in September 2016 and current rumours suggest that the next model will see Apple conduct a large overhaul of the iPhone formula.
However, with a release date nine months away, Apple’s current offerings – the 5S, 6, and 6S (including the ‚Plus‘ size 6 models) – are the handsets you can buy this holiday season, and are likely to continue to be in favour for a few months more. How do Apple’s current phones compare, and what is the state of Apple’s range nine months before a new flagship handset arrives to usurp them?
iPhone 6S vs 6 vs 5: Design
The trio of phones currently on offer could be the last iPhones to use a home button according to several prominent iPhone 7 rumours.
There are three sizes available. The entry level iPhone 5S uses a four-inch screen, while the two 6 models both come in two different sizes. The smaller standard 6 and 6S use a 4.7-inch display, while the ‚Plus‘ models are larger at 5.5-inches.
The 5S uses an aluminium chassis, 7.6mm thick and with a chamfered edge. It’s also two tone, with the two streaks at the top and bottom on the rear finished in gloss. The 6 models are quite different though. They’re curved aluminium and one flat colour.
The differences between the 6 and 6S models go unnoticed at a glance, but there are one or two. Techradar highlights how the 6S is actually slightly thicker at 7.1mm, and is also 14g heavier than the standard 6 model. It also uses stronger 7000 series aluminium in its construction, and is available in two extra colours – Gold and Rose Gold. „You’ll really struggle to feel the difference in the hand, but if you’re comforted by the extra strength, then the iPhone 6S is your friend“, the publication concludes.
iPhone 6S vs 6 vs 5S: Display
The most obvious and striking difference when comparing the display is the actual screen sizes. 4-inches for the 5S, 4.7-inches on smaller 6 models, and the phablet sized 5.5-inch display used on the Plus models.
These size difference mean different resolutions. The 5S has a 1136×640-pixel resolution at 326 pixels per inch. The standard sized 6 models also have 326ppi displays, but the larger screen means a resolution of 1334×750. The 6 Plus handsets up the ppi to 401, mated to a screen resolution of 1920×1080.
The 5S comes with a standard retina display, whereas 6 models come with Retina HD. 6S phones add unique 3D touch capabilities.
The displays used on iPhones do have their critics. Forbes says that the way the display on the 6S actually looks is not „particularly revolutionary to what has come before.“
The technology used in Apple’s LCD screens is behind many of the phone’s key rivals that use 2K screens, and even some smartphones now available with 4K displays.
The usage of LCD displays on the iPhone is set to continue until 2018, according to rumours. By then, Apple is likely to switch to using AMOLED displays for greater contrast and deeper blacks. Recently, it was reported that Apple has a secret development laboratory in Taiwan dedicated to bringing new displays to Apple products.
If a display that’s the pinnacle of smartphone technology is small beer to you, the minor differences in quality offered by the various iPhones are unlikely to be a decisive factor. However, if it is important, other smartphones such as one from Samsung’s Galaxy range may be worth a look in.
iPhone 6S vs 6 vs 5S: Processor
Each of Apple’s current phones uses a different processor, named in numerical order to differentiate them in terms of performance. The 5S model uses an A7 processor, while the 6 gets the A8 and the 6S the A9.
The older chip in the 5S is outperformed by the A8 and A9 chips in the 6 models, but there’s a sufficient gap between those two to warrant taking it into consideration, says Techradar. The A9 is 70 per cent faster than the A8 and the site advises that „if you want to future proof yourself for the next two years, go for the newer model.“
iPhone 6S vs 6 vs 5S: Camera
The 6S introduces a new camera over the standard 6, with the megapixel count upped from 8MP to 12MP. The front facing ‚selfie‘ camera leaps up in spec, too, and is now 5MP compared to the 1.2MP previously offered.
But the 6S doesn’t stop there. It can now also film in 4K, uses the screen as a flash on the front facing camera for a softer burst of light and has ‚live photos‘ that move if the user presses down on them when they are being viewed.
As for the ageing 5S, it has the same 8MP + 1.2MP setup as the standard 6 model, albeit one that’s less refined. According to Know Your Mobile, focusing is much quicker on the 6 than the 5S, and camera performance is much improved in the dark. The super-slow-mo 240 frames per second video capability is twice as good as the 120fps of the 5S’s slow motion function.
iPhone 6S vs 6 vs 5S: 3D Touch
3D touch capability is the latest addition to the Apple iPhone tech-roster. It’s only available on the iPhone 6S and adds new ways to interact with the phone.
Techradar says 3D touch is „probably the number one reason“ why people in the market for a new iPhone should consider going for the current range topper. It works by reading the amount of pressure applied to the screen by the user, prompting new shortcuts and options on the screen and adding a new layer of operation to the phone. The shortcuts allow users to ‚pop‘ in and out from native apps much quicker than standard swiping and pressing would.
The feature is likely to stick around on new Apple releases, but recent leakssuggest that it will stay within the iPhone stable for now. It looks increasingly likely that the feature won’t be improved upon in the iPhone 7, so it’s futureproof for now.
iPhone 6S vs 6 vs 5S: Battery
Improving the battery life of the iPhone is a perennial demand of iPhone users. Size matters here, and the larger the phone, the larger the battery.
The smallest iPhone on sale, the 5S, has a talk time of up to 10 hours and a standby time of 10 days. As you’d expect, the slightly larger 6 improves on this, with 14 hours and 10 days talk time and standby respectively. The even larger 6 Plus models gain even more, with 24 hours talk time and 16 days on standby.
However, Techradar notes that ‚S‘ models have a slightly smaller battery life than the standard models, because both have a slightly smaller battery in order to make room to house new features.
„Given battery life was already a concern for iPhone users, bringing out a new phone with a shorter time between charges is criminal,“ the site says.
iPhone 6S vs 6 vs 5S: Price
As the cheapest handset, the iPhone 5S has a sim-free price of £379. Those looking to make the stretch to the 6 will have to pay £459 for the handset (again, sim-free), or £539 for the larger, 5.5-inch screened 6 Plus.
The £539 sim-free price tag for the 6 Plus is the same price as the standard 6S model, and the range-topping 6S plus is priced at £619.
The choices on offer in the iPhone range at the moment can make choosing a handset difficult, especially when the internet is awash with rumours about the release of the iPhone 7 next year.
Macworld sums up the debate by looking at the two S model phones in comparison to each other. The iPhone 5S still represents a great budget option and many will be drawn towards its smaller, 4-inch screen, the site says.
On the other hand, buying the 16GB iPhone 6S (the cheapest iPhone 6S) is pointless given it costs almost £200 more than the cheapest 5S (which has 32GB of storage). It’s certainly a steep price to pay. But „there’s no doubt that the iPhone 6s is better than the iPhone 5s“, Macworld adds. The speed of the latest iPhone, combined with brand new and innovative features like 3D touch make it a compelling purchase.
„Get the iPhone 6S if possible“, the site concludes.
iPhone 7: should you buy the iPhone 6S for Christmas or wait until the iPhone 7 is out?
The new iPhone 6S and 6S Plus models may have only recently reached the hands of customers, but according to KnowYourMobile.com, Apple has „big plans“ for the iPhone 7.
But what if you’re looking to get hold of a new iPhone right now? Is it worth holding on for the next model which is likely to come out in September 2016, or would it be better use Christmas as an opportunity to get your hands on Apple’s current offering as soon as possible?
Just what could the next iPhone do so differently to tempt iPhone users to wait it out?
No home button
Designer Hasan Kaymak put together a concept video for the iPhone 7 which features a number of tantalising ideas, including the notion that Apple might do away with the home button completely on its forthcoming model. This makes room for a completely edge-to-edge display, meaning that the phone will have no wasted space on its front face.
One of the most recent rumours – that Apple currently has five different prototype handsets undergoing scrutiny – suggests an iPhone with built-in fingerprint recognition software in the screen is currently being tested. The existence of such a phone supports the idea that Apple could do away with the home button and have an edge-to-edge screen.
Apple’s never-ending pursuit of thinner devices is expected to continue on the next iPhone. It is strongly rumoured that the iPhone 7 could ship without the industry-standard 3.5mm headphone jack in favour of using either the lightning port or a USB-Type C port for docking headphones to. The USB type-C rumour has been around for some time after Apple equipped it as the only port on the new Macbook, and an iPhone equipped with USB-C is rumoured to be a prototype handset, but some feel ditching from the lightning port introduced in 2012 would be a move too soon.
Getting rid of the headphone jack would be radical but isn’t beyond Apple’s capabilities. If the thickness of the iPhone isn’t paramount to you, the revelations that the handset looks set to get even thinner probably won’t be one of the aspects that could make you wait this Christmas and through into next year before upgrading.
However, if the headphone jack is dropped from the next iPhone in the pursuit of thinness, and the lightning port assumes its duties, Apple could potentially introduce new ways to use headphones with the iPhone, complete with new functions.
In order to soften the blow of getting rid of regular headphone jacks, Apple could provide good reason for doing so by introducing ‚smart headphones’, a set of headphones deeply integrated into the iPhone experience. They could interact with apps and notifications, or control volume autonomously. Apple has already signalled interest in bringing new features to headphones, and has patented a pair with pressure sensors, which can take into account the seal between the headphone bud and ear as well as external ambient noise in order to optimise volume levels for the wearer’s direct environment automatically.
Such a move could also lead the company to invest heavily in developing the Bluetooth headphone option. However, doing this would be dependent on how well Apple can push forward the adoption of wireless headphones over conventional ones, and the launch of the next iPhone would be accompanied by attempts to lure consumers over to Bluetooth.
Several sites, including Apple Insider, note that the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus have significantly greater water resistance than their predecessors, including a 0.3mm wider ‚lip‘ around the frame and a silicone seal around the logic boards. Some tech experts believe that the changes may foreshadow a completely waterproof iPhone 7 in 2016.
New camera setup
One of the more exciting rumoured hardware updates is the introduction of a dual main camera. A dual camera does not mean front and rear facing apertures, but instead marks a large improvement in the functionality of the main camera, as it would introduce optical zoom and replace the fuzzy digital zoom currently offered. The new camera could also improve on the current 12 megapixel resolution currently available on the 6S.
New 3D multi-touch?
Some commentators say that the new way to interact with Apple’s handsets that was introduced on the iPhone 6S could be improved further. The 3D touch feature, which senses how much pressure is applied to the screen in order to execute different commands, could be expanded to introduce even more new ways to navigate the phone. The idea that 3D touch could gain more functionality on the iPhone 7 stems from the rumour that Apple are testing five different handsets, one of them equipped with the latest version of 3D touch.
Inc suggests the new commands could mean emails can be deleted by holding down two fingers on the screen, and multi-touch pressure could introduce new elements to apps and games. However, adding new elements to the feature so early in its adoption could complicate the matter for iPhone users who have yet to fully discover how to use 3D touch.
More recently, rumours have suggested that the next iPhone will not come with a newer version of the 3D touch feature. A leak from well-established Apple insider and KGI securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo regarding the upcoming iPad Air 3 suggests that Apple will not be bringing 3D touch capabilities to its tablets just yet, and alongside this we cannot expect the 3D touch capabilities of the current iPhone 6S to be expanded when the iPhone 7 is released, most likely some time after the next mid-sized Apple tablet goes on sale.
Apple is behind the curve on this one, as Samsung, Sony and LG have already released phones that charge without needing to be plugged in, but patent applications published yesterday by the US Patent and Trademark Office indicate that the California-based technology company may finally be preparing to incorporate wireless charging into its next generation phones.
Previously, Apple phones haven’t been able to recharge without being plugged in because, until recently, wireless charging devices couldn’t power batteries through the iPhone’s aluminium case.
Wireless-charging handsets from other companies have tended to be made of plastic so that power can reach their batteries.
But in July this year, Qualcomm unveiled a new wireless charger that works through metals, International Business Times reports, paving the way for Apple to be able to utilise the technology.
Apple’s patent for ‚Inductive Power Transfer Using Acoustic or Haptic Devices‘ appears to use a new metal coil which has a double function – in one mode the coil produces sound for the iPhone’s speakers, and in another it can charge the phone wirelessly.
With many of Apple’s rivals this Christmas selling smartphones capable of wireless charging, their advance towards the technology seems mistimed and maybe a little slow. If a phone capable of charging without cables is a necessity for you, an iPhone won’t be on your Christmas list this year. However, the introduction of wirelessly charging iPhones seems inevitable at this point, and will likely happen soon.
On 29 September, Apple filed a patent application with the US Patent and Trademark Office for what it calls „sidewall displays“, International Business Times reports.
The image accompanying the patent shows a phone with a screen that stretches all the way around the device.
Apple says that the reason for the patent is that many mobile devices on the market have come to feature a very similar design which makes no use of their side or rear surfaces.
„A large majority of portable electronic devices have settled into a standard form factor,“ Apple says in its patent, „namely a flat planar form factor with a display on one side and an opaque housing that contains the electrical components covering the rear surface of the device.
„Unfortunately, this popular form factor leaves the sides and rear surfaces of the device unused or at best configured with buttons and switches with fixed location and functionality.“
The patent says that there is „a need for an improved form factor for portable electronic devices which allows functionality to extend to more than one surface of the device.“
So perhaps the company is paving the way for a new wraparound display.
Liquidmetal and glass case?
The International Business Times has reported on a patent filed by Apple on 21 August detailing a technology that could be used to create an all-new type of case on the next iPhone.
The iPhone 7, or any future iPhone model, could be built using ‚Liquidmetal‘. This is an amorphous metal alloy, but one which Apple has rights to until February 2016.
The patent describes a process whereby the use of Liquidmetal and glass can create an iPhone case with no gaps in it, which might tie in with rumours that the iPhone 7 could be waterproof.
Apple does this by „heating a metal bezel, inserting the glass material and letting it cool to effectively trap the glass in the bezel“.
Apple has been experimenting with Liquidmetal since at least 2010, but hasn’t used the technique to manufacture any products apart from the sim ejector tool supplied with the iPhone 3GS, says IBT.
The company has used many different materials to create the iPhone casing over the years, such as plastic, aluminium, and glass. But it now seems possible that a new way of creating the hard case could be around the corner, and possibly on the iPhone 7.
According to a report by VentureBeat, the next generation of Apple iPhones could be powered by an Intel chip. The report claims that the chip manufacturer Intel has a team of 1,000 workers trying to ensure that they seal the deal.
Nothing is signed yes, the site says, and it is possible that Apple may choose to use two suppliers for its chips rather than just one: „Apple may dual-source the LTE modems in its new iPhones from both Intel and Qualcomm. Today, Qualcomm’s 9X45 LTE chip is baked into all iPhone modems.“
When mobile technology was in its infancy, Intel failed to adapt to the changing market and missed out on partnerships with some major manufacturers, so „This is a must-win for Intel,“ a source told VentureBeat.
If a partnership does come about, then sources say that Apple „could turn to Intel to build a new system-on-a-chip (SoC) in the future, which combines both the processor and LTE modem.“ This would help to save space and make the phone run faster.
More recently, a note from HSBC to Apple investors was reported by Apple Insider, claiming Samsung, responsible for ’60-70′ percent of current A9 processor production, could be axed as an Apple partner, and the chips could be manufactuered by TSMC exclusively.
An Apple patent recently granted by the US Patent and Trademark Office has prompted speculation that the iPhone 7 might include a built-in „panic button“. According to the patent, the fingerprint scanner, which serves as a home button, could be used to lock the device and transmit a warning signal to the emergency services. The phone’s data would then be rendered inaccessible unless authorised by its owner. The Daily Mirror suggests that other features could also be included, such as switching on the camera and microphone to record who is using the phone. These recordings could then be sent to police to help them catch the thieves.
„The mobile device may be unlocked using a designated finger that activates a panic mode of operation, wherein personal data stored on the mobile device is not accessible or viewable to the user,“ says the patent application. „In other implementations, the user may register particular fingerprints to be associated with different modes of operation and activate the different modes based on the particular fingerprints.“
iPhone owners can already remotely wipe their devices or track them through the Find My iPhone free app.
OLED or LCD screen?
There have been rumours that Apple was considering introducing an OLED screen for the new iPhone 7. ET News, a South Korean tech website, said it was looking to source the screens from Apple’s smartphone rival Samsung, in time for the production of the next generation of iPhones, expected to be launched late next year.
The main difference between the LCD (liquid-crystal display) screens currently used for iPhones and their OLED counterparts is that LCD displays use a backlight to illuminate their pixels, while OLED (organic light-emitting diode) screens create light on their own. Apple currently sources OLED screens from Samsung and LG for its Apple Watch range and the displays have garnered high praise from reviewers.
However, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo thinks Apple will continue using LCD technology for at least three years and likely beyond. He says Apple supplier Hon Hai Precision Industry, better known as Foxconn, is preparing to invest in advanced LCD production lines in China for mass production in 2018. On top of that, iPhone backlight supplier Minebea told investors earlier this month that it does not foresee a risk of LCD share loss to OLED in the high-end smartphone market in the next three years.
If true, the decision might disappoint some fans and critics. Last month, Curtis Moldrich at Alphr said Apple would be „crazy“ not to use OLED screens. He suggests the „outdated“ LCD panel is „one of the reasons they often look pale and washed out“ in comparison to OLED-equipped smartphones. „The iPhone 7 will need to give consumers a significant step up in all areas of the user experience if it’s to compete with forthcoming smartphones like the HTC M10 and Galaxy S7,“ said Moldrich. „An OLED screen will certainly help Apple fend off the competition.“
Speculation that the iPhone will not make the switch to OLED screens until 2018 have been boosted by reports of a secret facility operated by Apple in Taiwan. A discreet building at the Longtan Science Park in the north of the country is said to be a development laboratory for Apple products, most notably display technology. The reports that the building could contain new iPhone technology that we won’t see for a few years were first leaked to Bloomberg by Apple insiders, who claim up to 50 employees are based there and working on new screens for Apple products.
Could iPhone 7 interface with the Apple car?
One of the more unusual rumours doing the rounds is that the iPhone 7 could give owners a preview of the forthcoming Apple car, and possibly even allow them to order one through an inbuilt app in the phone.
Apple CEO Tim Cook has hinted heavily that he has great interest in his company developing a car, but most technology experts agree that even if such a project is in the works, it is deeply unlikely that it will be anywhere near ready to coincide with the launch of the iPhone 7.
As financial website LearnBonds.com notes: „The Apple Car, if the firm is indeed working on it, isn’t going to hit the roads for a long time yet, and a September 2016 iPhone 7 release date isn’t likely to bring news of the project from Apple, at least not with any clarity.“
The site adds: „We’re not going to be able to order the Apple Car off of the iPhone 7, or not unless we keep it for quite a few years.“
Investment bank Piper Jaffray believes that Apple is likely to unveil a raft of major changes with the iPhone 7 including a much improved sapphire screen.
„A sapphire screen has long been rumoured for the iPhone,“ says Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster. „Since Apple now uses sapphire on the Apple Watch, it could make sense for them to adapt it to the phone. We note that Apple is using the stronger aluminium from the Apple Watch Sport for the iPhone 6S case.“
So what advantages would such a screen offer? According to Forbes, „the increased hardness of sapphire is a major pull for handset makers“, but what has long stood in the way of broad uptake of the material is the difficulty involved in its production, which so far has meant it has only featured in high-end luxury brand phones such as Vertu.
Sapphire also has a downside, says Forbes, which is that even though it is good at resisting scratches and scuffs, when it is broken „it tends to shatter not crack“.
Faster, better, stronger
The iPhone 7 is rumoured to be fitted with a ‚hexa-core‘ processor, which will make the phone significantly speedier than the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus, a better camera that improves on the current generation’s 12-megapixel lenses, and a stronger body to ensure that the phones do not bend, after some users reported that their iPhone 6 models would flex in their pockets.
So what will the iPhone 7 not do?
One improvement that most tech journalists believe is unlikely to happen is for Apple to significantly boost the iPhone 7’s battery life.
Jonny Ive, Apple’s chief design officer and to some the spiritual successor to Steve Jobs, has said many times that he doesn’t believe a longer battery life is worth the „significant sacrifices“ it would require in other areas.
Apple is also expected to phase out its 16GB model when the new iPhone comes out. The 16GB of storage offered in the entry level iPhone 6S and 6S Plus models is considered something of an anachronism in the contemporary world of high-end mobile phones. At 32GB, the smallest Samsung Galaxy S6 phones offer twice as much storage as Apple’s cheapest flagship and still retail for a lower price.
Another common rumour rejected by MacWorld.com is the idea that Apple might change the new phone’s power cable making the iPhone 7 draw power from a USB-C port, like the new 12-inch MacBook. „The change from 30-pin to Lightning is recent enough (and was painful enough for many users) that to switch again now would be highly controversial.“
It is also highly unlikely that the phone will have a spring-out joystick on its home button and a 3-D screen, the site says.
There is no confirmed release date for the iPhone 7, but Apple’s launch schedule for the past few years offers some clues. The first four generations of the iPhone were released in June or July, but then the 4S came out in October 2011. Since then, Apple has consistently released an iPhone or two iPhones in September each year. Tech critics predict that it will be around September again for the iPhone 7, possibly alongside the Apple Watch 2 if it doesn’t launch sooner.
However, the latest rumours suggest there might also be a mid-2016 Apple launch – for the iPhone „mini“. The phone is predicted to be a 4-inch model, the same size as the iPhone 5S, and to be marketed as a cheaper alternative to the iPhone 7. It has been variously dubbed the „iPhone 6C“, the „iPhone 7C“ and the „iPhone Mini“. „It’s been rumoured ever since the 5C launched, and it’s fair to say many questions have been raised over its potential existence since – but the same can be said for the iPad Pro,“ says TechRadar. A supersized tablet from Apple was rumoured for years but it did eventually materialise, says the site, which reckons Apple is „playing a similar game with the iPhone 6C“.
Rumours regarding the smaller handset, which could be with us earlier in the year than the iPhone 7, so far suggest that the so-called iPhone 6C will have fewer features and lower specifications than the larger flagship handsets. The iPhone 5C did this, offering itself up as a cheaper entry level phone, and current indications points towards the ‚mini‘ iPhone being much the same.
Macworld says the latest rumours regarding the iPhone 6C point towards a reveal at an Apple event set to be held in March, with a release not long afterwards. The Apple Watch 2 could also make its debut at the same event. They also highlight the potential specifications of the smaller phone, rounding up rumours suggesting it will be shipped in a metal case with the plastic cover used on the iPhone 5C, will use the A8 processor used in the iPhone 6 models, could have an upgraded camera over the iPhone 5S, but will likely not come with some of the newer features such as 3D touch.
A launch of a smaller phone earlier in the year could tempt those who prefer Apple’s four-inch handsets to wait it out, rather than make the leap to a 6S this Christmas.  Research suggests that up to 20 per cent of American Apple consumers would like the company to keep a four-inch option available, and that many are willing to skip out on new features and hardware in order to keep the convenience of a smaller phone.
Waiting it out does not always guarantee getting your hands on the latest handset though, as 2Paragraphs points out. The launch of the iPhone 7 in its various forms is already hugely anticipated, as the current rumours suggest several big changes could be coming. A large-scale launch could result in supply chain issues, and „Apple certainly isn’t going to do anything to make you think waiting is a good move.“
iPhone 7: What will Mini iPhone 6C be like?
Apple’s next major handset – the iPhone 7 – is rumoured to be launching in September 2016 with a host of hardware and software improvements over the outgoing 6S models.
However, other rumours say the iPhone 6S will not die just yet. Back in November, the internet was awash with claims that Apple could be introducing a brand new four-inch handset alongside the two likely 4.7- and 5.5-inch flagship iPhone 7s.
First dubbed the iPhone 7 Mini, the four-inch iPhone 7 coming out in 2016 has more recently been referred to as the iPhone 6C.
So what will this smaller phone be like?
The iPhone 5C launched with a plastic casing available in a range of colours. The vibrant tints of the entry level option gave it some flair in comparison to its more powerful siblings.
According to a Chinese report cited by Gotta Be Mobile, the iPhone 6C will still be offered in a range of bright colours, but will come in a metal case instead of a plastic polycarbonate shell.
According to Neurogadget, the iPhone 6C won’t receive anything new in the camera department and is likely to be shipped with the eight-megapixel rear-facing camera from the iPhone 6, as well as its 1.2-megapixel front-facing aperture.
The site says basic features such as auto image stabilisation, auto HDR and face detection will be available.
iDigital Times says the upgraded and improved camera will be one of the main selling points on the new iPhone 7, and we should expect the 6C to come with the same camera specs as the 6.
The big difference between the 6C and the other handsets will be size. Retaining the four-inch display which has been available since the iPhone 5’s introduction in 2012, means a smaller phone with a resolution of 1136 x 640.
Neurogadget does not believe the iPhone 6C will come with the 3D-Touch display used in the iPhone 6S, because Apple will want to keep the price down.
What’s the point of the iPhone 6C?
Four-inch screens have been available on the iPhone since the introduction of the iPhone 5 back in 2012 and smaller and cheaper iPhones are still popular. Macworld reports on the findings of research conducted by Piper Jaffray, which suggests 20 per cent of US consumers would like a four-inch iPhone.
The same report suggests certain consumers have built up an affinity for four-inch models, and many of the 20 per cent who responded saying they’d like a new small iPhone say so because they have yet to make the leap to the larger and more expensive handsets.
According to Gotta Be Mobile, the four-inch screen is the ‚main feature‘ of the smaller iPhone. So long as they continue to be made, certain people will opt for them, consciously buying based on the handset’s smaller size and convenience over the larger, feature-heavy flagship models.
One major discrepancy between the iPhone 6C and the other two iPhone handsets coming in 2016 is likely to be the release date.
9 to 5 Mac reports that the next mini iPhone could be introduced during an Apple reveal penned for March, alongside the next Apple Watch. The handset would go on sale not long after, maybe in April, and serve as a warm-up before the larger launch of the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus later in the year.
iPhone 7: how can Apple extend the next iPhone’s battery life?
One of the perennial rumours surrounding just about any future Apple product is that the new introduction will be slimmer than the model it replaces. Such is the company’s dedication to ever thinner products, new releases have historically shipped without features some consider to be necessary.
The latest Macbook dropped conventional USB ports in favour of the smaller USB-Type C when it launched earlier this year, and rumours that Apple could do something similar with the next iPhone by removing the headphone jack have already surfaced.
However, one of the key areas iPhone users want Apple to improve on the next handset is battery life, and this creates a dilemma. How does Apple create a thinner phone with a smaller battery, but increase battery life so owners do not have to charge their phones every day, as so typically is the case with the iPhone?
Energy efficiency improvements?
Some believe that Apple is not planning anything radical to improve battery life, but instead will rely on the improvements in energy efficiency which come as part of the development process and the introduction of new hardware.
The next iPhone will use the A10 chip and, according to Expert Reviews, it will „no doubt, be more energy efficient than the A9 SoC used in the iPhone 6S“. It’s also likely that the next chip will be smaller, taking up less room in the case which can then be used to increase the size of the battery.
The operating system could also grant some battery gains. Apple could be working on making the next iOS draw less energy.
Apple has very recently introduced a smart battery case for iPhone 6 models. The case features a bump on the back, housing a small external battery, and the case has a lightning port connector inside. It can increase the talk time of the iPhone 6 to 25 hours.
However, some critics and iPhone users have reacted negatively to the case. Many feel the large bump on the back makes Apple’s efforts to make iPhones as thin as possible pointless, and that many third party battery cases are much better. According to Forbes, „The ugly case was at best a weak solution to the battery life of the iPhone 6S,“ and Apple CEO Tim Cook has been on the defensive in an interview with Mashable.
Maybe a more elegant solution is on the way?
Back in June, the Daily Express reported that Apple had patented solar panel technology which is embedded underneath the screen, much like the technique that has been used on wristwatches for some time.
However, patents are never accurate things to go by, and Apple tends to patent a lot of ideas that never see the light of day, many of them vague like this one.
OLED screens in the future?
Not one for now, but in the near future the battery life of the iPhone could increase thanks to ditching the LCD screens in favour of OLED technology.
The Independent reports that Apple could switch to OLED screens in 2018, bringing with it „huge improvements“ in the battery life of the iPhone. This is because OLED uses deep blacks over the bright white look of the current LCD display on the iPhone.
By only lighting parts of the screen that need to display colour, they save battery power compared to LCD screens, and the introduction of OLED screens will likely bring with it a complete redesign of the operating system, changing from the current emphasis on white, to a predominantly black one.