So the news is out: Apple is set to release its newest iPhone in September, according to a report by Asia Business site Nikkei. The estimated launch date is in line with the release dates of the last three iPhone models.
The new iPhone, expected to be called iPhone 6, will be available in two versions: 4.7 and 5.5 inch screen, both bigger than the current four-inch panel, claimed the respected Nikkei business daily albeit the lack of sources cited.
Whether the iPhone 6 will be available in one or two sizes, this may be unclear, but Nikkei claims that other innovations are pending. “Manufacturers have apparently begun making such components as fingerprint sensors and chips for liquid-crystal drivers,” the report states. The article goes on to say that “mass production of liquid crystal display panels” will begin production next month, directly in-line with a September release.
The iPhone 6 is also rumoured to get a sapphire screen instead of Gorilla Glass. A recent patent application seems to corroborate that claim too. Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, confirmed to ABC News that the manufacturing plant in Mesa, Ariz., is producing sapphire crystal substrate. However, Cook did not mention anything about the iPhone 6 or the highly anticipated Apple wearable- the iWatch.
Apple released the iPhone 5 in September 2012 and newer versions of the series last year.
Tug of war in the smartphone industry for market share
In February, Samsung unveiled its new flagship Galaxy S5 smartphone armed with a fingerprint scanner and a built-in heart rate sensor. The phone is expected to debut April 11.
Other than Samsung, Apple’s nemesis China’s Xiaomi, has also been making waves around the region, especially in Singapore. When it launched in Singapore earlier this month, its budget phone specifically made for Singapore, Redmi, was snapped up in minutes. Following the hype, Xiaomi also launched its flagship product Mi3, which was also snapped up by consumers in Singapore within minutes.
Global shipments of smartphones last year topped a billion for the first time, up 38.4 percent from the 725.3 million shipped in 2012. Apple, however, had the lowest year-on-year increase of all major smartphone makers even though its 5S and 5C models were available in more countries, according to IDC.