They claim that it’s the iPhone 6, and I think they’re right. Here’s why:
- The case design borrows directly from the iPad mini and the new iPad Air. All of the styling cues are there. Smooth corners on the back of the case, satin-like finish, ultra-thin profile.
- The home button is clearly a TouchID unit, which we would expect Apple to keep in any update of the iPhone.
- The balance of earphone jack, Lightning connector port and speaker/mic perforations are all exactly where you’d expect them to be based on the iPhone 5s layout.
- According to BI, the phone’s screen dimensions are pegged at 4.7″ which up slightly from the iPhone 5/5s/5c at 4″. This might be the biggest surprise of all given that until now, Apple has been reluctant to increase the width of the iPhone, arguing that based on their extensive R&D for the original iPhone, the current width is ideal for most users. But if there’s one thing that Samsung has been able to prove, it’s that a lot of folks either don’t mind bigger phones, or they’re happy to trade off a little comfort in return for a bigger screen size. In any event, it looks like Apple has finally bent to consumers’ tastes on this, although it’s clear from the photo that they have done their best to minimize the impact on width. Look closely – the side bezel is razor-thin, providing what I suspect is the closest thing we’ve ever seen to a true “edge-to-edge” display.
- So what about sticking to their guns? Well here’s where we get to the fun part. Rather than acknowledging they were wrong about screen size, I think Apple will market this new iPhone as the “iPhone Air” – the choice for people who want ultra-thin, ultra-light and “the most beautiful display of any mobile phone” while retaining both the 5s and the 5c as options for those who still prefer the original dimensions.
- I expect the price to be the same as the current iPhone 5s, while the 5s and 5c will drop by between $50-$100 at launch.
- So a bigger, thinner iPhone? Is that it? Yes. With the possible exception of the inclusion of NFC and a better camera (you can never have too much improvement in a camera), I don’t think the iPhone Air will have (or will need) any new features. I think the simple fact that folks who didn’t buy the iPhone because the Galaxy line was bigger (and who will now reconsider the iPhone) represents a huge potential win for Apple, especially as they start to compete in China now that they’ve secured the China Mobile deal. I think that Asian users of smartphones have already shown a significant preference for large-screen phones and that this will continue.