Apple manufacturing partner Foxconn is set to begin mass production on the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 this month, according to local media cited by Reuters. The larger 5.5-inch iPhone 6 will begin production a month later, in August.
Mass production of a 4.7-inch successor to the wildly popular iPhone 5 series of smartphones will begin during the third week of July, Taiwan’s Economic Daily News said, without citing sources. Production of a 5.5-inch version will begin during the second week of August, it said.
Foxconn is also set to hire around 100,000 additional workers to help meet future demand for the device, according to a Chinese state-run news agency. Fellow Apple manufacturing partner Pegatron is also ramping up hiring, recruiting over 10,000 for its own facilities to help manufacture the iPhone. Additionally, it was reported last week that Foxconn was planning on deploying 10,000 robots to help employees with less intensive tasks like tightening screws.
Apple is widely expected to announce the iPhone 6 in early September, with a release coming a couple weeks later in late September. While it’s unclear whether both the 4.7- and 5.5-inch iPhone 6 models will launch at the same time, the one-month delay in mass production could mean that the 5.5-inch is either available in lower quantities at first or will be announced at the same time as the 4.7-inch model and launch shortly after. Previously, it’s been rumored the 5.5-inch model had been experiencing production issues.
Other than larger displays, the iPhone 6 is expected to include a thinner, iPod touch-like design, an A8 processor, and an improved camera, potentially measuring 13 megapixels. The larger model is expected to come with a $100 price increase, optical image stabilization and greater storage capability.
Months before Apple is expected to release its next-generation iPhone, functional iPhone 6 clones already are starting to appear in China’s mobile phone marketplace. One of the first clones, the Wico i6, is profiled by 86DIGI (via Nowhereelse.fr) in a two-part hands-on video.
(Note: Contains fairly loud soundtrack of The Carpenters’ “Top of the World”)
Like most clones, the Wico i6 is quite detailed for a fake, with authentic-looking FCC labeling and the characteristic Apple branding. The phone also closely mimics the rumored styling of the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 with a thin chassis that houses a side-mounted power button and elongated volume buttons.
Wico isn’t the only clone maker ready to enter the mobile phone black market, however. Chinese clone maker Goophone has also announced (via GizChina.com) that it is preparing the Goophone i6 for release in August, ahead of Apple’s expected September iPhone launch.
The GooPhone also borrows its styling from the rumored schematics of the iPhone 6 and pairs it with a quad-core Mediatek MT6582 chipset, 1GB RAM and 13 megapixel rear camera. Similar to previous Goophone clones, the i6 model is powered by the Android operating system.
iPhone 6 render by Tomas Moyano and Nicolas Aichino
Citing inside sources, the report claims that Apple will ship the iPhone 6 with a tactile feedback linear motor, which can allow the user to feel subtle vibrations depending on different app scenarios and even on specific areas of the touch screen. The report also notes that this new haptic feedback motor will cost twice or three times as much as the $0.60 vibration motor found in the iPhone 5s.
Apple has expressed interest in haptic technology in the past, filing a patent on the subject in 2009. That patent discussed the idea of allowing users to “feel out” the different elements on a web page with haptic feedback, noting that the lack of such a technology was a disadvantage for the iPhone’s multi-touch screen.
The iPhone 6 is expected to launch in September in two sizes of 4.7-inches and 5.5-inches. Aside from a larger display, the device is also expected to include a faster quad-core 64-bit A8 processor, and a thinner design with curved edges like that of the fifth-generation iPod touch. Both iPhone 6 models are also expected to receive an improved camera, which will come in the form of optical image stabilization for the 5.5-inch model and a new lens module for the smaller 4.7-inch phone.
A recent survey suggests consumers are looking forward to improved battery life as well as a bigger screen in the iPhone 6. But according to Chinese media reports (via GforGames), Apple’s next-generation iPhone may disappoint with a lower-than-expected battery capacity that will provide only a slight boost from the battery used in the iPhone 5s.
Chinese media sources claim the 4.7-inch version of the iPhone 6 will ship with a battery between 1,800 and 1,900 mAh, while the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 will include a 2,500 mAh battery. Though larger than the 1,560 mAh battery in the iPhone 5s, these modest capacity increases place Apple behind competitors with similar sized handsets, and leave some wondering if Apple is keeping the battery too small in order to design an ultra-slim device. The larger screens on the iPhone 6 will naturally create more volume for larger batteries while maintaining a slim profile, but the displays themselves are likely to require increased battery to support the higher resolutions.
Of course, these rumored battery capacities for the iPhone provide only part of the equation, with Apple’s tight software-hardware integration also contributing to overall battery life. It is also possible that real-world battery life may be better than these speculated hardware specs imply due to underlying performance improvements added to iOS 8.
Apple is expected to unveil the iPhone 6 during a September media event. The company may debut both a 4.7-inch and a 5.5-inch version that could feature a faster A8 processor, an upgraded Touch ID scanner and an improved camera with some form of image stabilization.
Apple will look to announce the iPhone 6 on Monday, September 15th ahead of a launch on Thursday, September 25, according to various Chinese media reports citing “inside sources” (Google Translate, via GForGames). The sources also claim that the larger 5.5-inch iPhone will be called the “iPhone Air”, with the 16GB version selling in China for 5,998 yuan ($965). Meanwhile, the 4.7-inch version will reportedly start at 5,288 ($850) for 32GB, which is the current price of the 16GB iPhone 5s in China.
The report contrasts a story from Chinese web portal Tencent last month claiming that Apple would launch the 4.7-inch iPhone on Friday, September 19, which would be in line with the past two iPhone launches. Apple typically launches new products on a Friday, while a Thursday launch would be unlikely.
Furthermore, Apple abandoning on the 16 GB model on the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 would make it likely that the company does not include such an option on the bigger 5.5-inch version. A report from Wei Feng last month noted that Apple would offer a 128GB variant only for the 5.5-inch iPhone 6, stating that the storage size difference would act as a major differentiator between both models. It is possible that Apple may call the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 the iPhone Air, as suppliers were once rumored to be using that name when referring to the device.
It is unknown whether Apple will launch both the 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch iPhone 6 simultaneously. Bloomberg claimed last month that company would be doing so, as previous reports noted issues with display technology and battery life would delay the device’s launch.
Aside from a larger display, the iPhone 6 is expected to come with a thinner profile, a faster A8 processor, and other new features. The camera of the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 is also said to feature an optical image stabilization system, while the smaller 4.7-inch iPhone will use a new lens module.
As we creep closer to the fall release date of the iPhone 6, component leaks are becoming more frequent. While we originally saw the alleged front panel of the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 back in April, 9to5Mac has shared additional photos of the component.
Depicted in both black and white, the front panel in the photos features a slight gloss and somewhat tapered edges, lending credence to both rumors and mockups that have suggested the iPhone 6 will have rounded iPod touch-style corners.
The two front panels in the photos appear to have varying locations for the device’s front camera, and it is unknown why there is a difference between the parts. The white front panel camera hole appears to be centered above the earpiece as it is in the iPhone 5s, with a sensor to the left, but the black front panel’s front-facing camera hole is to the left of the earpiece as it was in the iPhone 4.
The front panel was also compared to the front panel of the iPhone 5s, showing the size differences between the two devices.
In addition to these photos of the 4.7-inch iPhone’s front panel, we have also seen images that depict manufacturing molds, backlight panels, and rear shells, but the latter component may not be from the actual iPhone 6 as a new rumor from Japanese site Nikkei has suggested the finished device may not have the thick antenna breaks that have been depicted on mockups thus far.
Though only the 4.7-inch iPhone front panel has been seen, Apple is expected to be releasing the iPhone 6 in a larger 5.5-inch size as well. It is unknown at this point if the larger iPhone 6 will be released at the same time, as there have been some conflicting reports on its potential launch due to production issues. The most recent rumors indicate a simultaneous release, however.
Both versions of Apple’s iPhone 6 are expected to be thinner and lighter than the existing iPhone 5s, with an A8 processor and various camera improvements. Rumors have suggested the larger iPhone will be positioned as the premium version, offering features like optical image stabilization, a higher storage capacity, and a $100 price increase over the 4.7-inch version.
We’ve seen a steady stream of mockup devices that claim to represent the form factor of the rumored 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch iPhone 6. According to sources for Nikkei (via GforGames), these mockups provide a fairly accurate look at Apple’s upcoming iPhone hardware.
Though they may reflect the overall design of the next generation iPhone, the mockups, thus far, have been produced quickly with low quality materials. This haphazard construction misses a few key design elements, the most notable of which such as a curved glass display that Nikeei sources say will seamlessly transition into the aluminum shell that encloses the device.
This isn’t the first report that claims the iPhone will feature a curved glass display. A rumor earlier this year from Mac Otakara and one from Bloomberg last year also claimed the iPhone 6 will ship with a curved display that will lay flush with the iPhone’s round corners.
Nikkei sources also say the white stripes on the back of the some mockups will not appear in the final version of the iPhone 6. These lines are thought to mark out the location of the back panels and are not actual design elements. As a result, the backing on the iPhone 6 may closely resemble the iPhone 5/5s.
Apple is rumored to be preparing both a 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch version of the iPhone 6 for launch in September. The devices are thought to feature an A8 processor, an improved camera and a thinner design with oval buttons that are similar to the sixth generation iPod touch. The iPhone may be priced in tiers, with the larger 5.5-inch model costing $100 more than the 4.7-inch version.
Apple’s manufacturing partners are gearing up for the launch of new iOS devices later this year, with primary partner Foxconn bringing on 100,000 new workers to help assemble the iPhone 6, reports Taiwan’s Economic Daily News [Google Translate] as picked up by Reuters.
Hon Hai Precision Industry will recruit over 100,000 people in mainland China to produce the newest iPhone from Apple Inc, Taiwan’s Economic Daily News said, in what the report called the firm’s largest single hiring spree in China.
Supposed front panel and manufacturing mold for larger iPhone 6
Pegatron is reportedly also involved in iPhone 6 production, with early reports on Pegatron’s production share ranging from 15% to 50%, but today’s report and other recent ones have put Pegatron’s share at closer to 30%. According to today’s report, Pegatron is boosting its workforce by 30% to support production of the next iPhone. The company made a similar hiring surge last year in support of its role as the primary assembler for the iPhone 5c.
The timing of these hiring surges is about right for the rumored iPhone 6 schedule, with production reportedly set to ramp up next month ahead of a launch around the usual September timeframe. Most of the iPhone 6 attention has focused on a rumored 4.7-inch model that is expected to represent the bulk of sale, but Apple is said to also be working on an even larger 5.5-inch model that may launch alongside or in the months following the debut of the 4.7-inch model.
A couple of new model photos of the rumored iPhone 6 have been posted to Twitter by SonnyDickson. The new images depict the 4.7″ and 5.5″ iPhone 6 side by side — both front and back.
The images show what we have already seen about the iPhone 6, including the rounded case edges and larger form factors. Apple is expected to release the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 around September of 2014, while the 5.5-inch version may come later.
Photos of iPhone 6 dummy models have been floating around for months, making even more frequent appearances in recent weeks.
Taiwanese media star and race car driver Jimmy Lin has once again surfaced showing what he seems to be passing off as a legitimate iPhone 6, although the device is more likely to be one of many physical mockups seen in recent months.
Lin has a history of such postings, having shared what he claimed was a mini iPad back in 2010 two years before the real iPad mini debuted, what was clearly an iPhone 5 mockup, and what appears to have been a knockoff iPhone 5c shell or dummy unit based on accurate design specs that were circulating ahead of the device’s release last year.
In his latest “iPhone 6″ photos, Lin shows the device next to the iPhone 5 and 5s, comparisons that have been seen in a number of different settings already. Among the suspect aspects of his unit are what appears to be a nonfunctional yellow blank in place of the rear flash, a larger than expected FaceTime camera hole, and a lack of any photos with the unit turned on.
Lin’s unit appears very similar to one we’ve seen in photos sent by a supplier to screen protector and stylus firm Halo-Direct, although this unit lacks the Apple logo seen on Lin’s.
The 4.7-inch iPhone 6 is expected to debut around the September timeframe, with an even larger 5.5-inch model reportedly also in the works. It is unclear, however, where that larger model will debut alongside or up to several months later than the smaller version.