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Render: Nikola Cirkovic

The iPhone 6 concepts of course started appearing even before the iPhone 5s was launched, but now that the new handsets are old news, the concept bandwagon is gathering speed.

Apple is known to be testing a variety of handset sizes, but has always said a phone should be usable with one hand, which rules out any of the more tablet-like sizes out there. An obvious way to increase the screen size without greatly increasing the external dimensions of the phone is work on reducing the size of the bezel.

Apple already did this with the iPad Air (though in that case to reduce the dimensions while retaining the screen size). That’s the approach we see in what I consider to be one of the most realistic concepts out there …

Mechanical engineering student Nikola Cirkovic put together a series of renderings of a design very similar to the iPhone 5s, but with a near-invisible ultra-thin bezel at each side. Possibly a little thinner than might prove possible to manufacture, but certainly along the lines I’d expect Apple to adopt.

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The gallery shows both Space Gray and Silver models, but no gold. I like the fact that Cirkovic has resisted the temptation to get carried away. The larger screen size and thin bezels aside, it follows all the design cues of the existing phone.

Then we get to the dumb concepts. Three different sizes

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A curved screen with the curve the wrong way, maximising reflections and leaving the vulnerable screen facing out in your pocket …

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The iPhone 3GS revisited

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The just plain weird (ok, he wants to project a keyboard onto the desk, so there is the semblence of method in his madness, but still) …

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Bonus points for a concept that would make the phone unusable in landscape mode, turning the whole of the base surface into a touch-sensitive home button …

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I didn’t think the concepts could get much dumber than this …

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But it turns out I was wrong:

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(You won’t believe how many variations on that there are out there.)

Seen any worse ones out there? Post the links in the comments …

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46 Responses to “After the iPhone 5s launch, it’s time to let the iPhone 6 concepts roll …”

  1. I never understood the fascination with a see-through display in “futuristic” renderings. What advantage does it possibly give to see my hand behind the phone? And even if it becomes opaque when turned on, whats the point then? It seems like a lot of work for nothing.

  2. iPhone 6, you’re killing me.

  3. Ben,
    What according to you is the apt screen size and resolution.

    • Ben Lovejoy says:

      I’m likely in a minority as my iPad takes on most mobile data tasks, so I’m perfectly content with a small screen. Pocketability is the key for me.

      • If high speed mobile data plans weren’t such (IMO) a poor value here in the U.S. considering how fast I can run through the amount data I get, I’d be more content with a 4″ inch screen because I do value pocketability as well.

        As things are, I have much more consistent use for my phone while mobile than my tablet so I have to prioritize the data of purchase for it and I’m often not on Wi-Fi while i’m mobile. For that reason, I strongly feel the personal necessity for a larger screen, especially after playing around with my mom’s Galaxy S3. It doesn’t necessarily have to be that big, but I would certainly larger than the iPhone 5/5S. Such a size would still feel comfortably portable for me.

      • Ben Lovejoy says:

        I have unlimited data, so that isn’t an issue – and public wifi hotspots are often rubbish, so I’ll tend to stick with mobile data even when wifi is available

  4. Ryan Gibson says:

    The concepts with the huge screens remind me that at some point, in my opinion, Apple needs to rethink the usefulness of the home screen.

    The “Today” stream and notifications are almost always an afterthought for me and that bugs me. It seems like lockscreen notifications *can* be useful with some work by the end user but they’re just notifications.

    I don’t know, I’ve went Android and admittedly didn’t care for the “endless widget” concept. I’ve never touched a Windows phone. But, in my mind, as apps become more and more numerous, which they are, there simply must be a more natural way to pull a 4 inch screen out and get the information I care about without having to tap through a list of icons within folders on a screen.

  5. pak256 says:

    Can we please not use the name iPhone 6 when we are talking about the 8th freaking iPhone?!? Please?

    • tallestskil says:

      Ah, give it a rest. Apple has decided they don’t care about common sense or logic, so they can go soak in it.

      Next year’s lineup will be iPhone 6, iPhone 5SC, and iPhone 5C.

    • Ian Nutter says:

      In the end its up to Apple to decide which products are “the next generation of iPhone” and which are performance boosts plus new features. It’s all about how they represent it, and in the past it has been represented by a redesign.

  6. The first concept does get one thing really wrong though. I didn’t think it would matter, but having the headphone jack on the bottom of the phone instead of the top was a genius move by Apple.

  7. nick9191 says:

    Volume button on the top? I doubt we will see that again on the phone

  8. rogifan says:

    I’m waiting for the iPhone 7 concepts based on the iPhone 6 concepts. :-)

  9. Alan Goldman says:

    none of the above. it’s all about one handed op with Apple, So 5″ in the smallest footprint they can do probably means loosing the button and most of the bezels all the way around. It’s a tough call to do.

  10. The first one gets my vote. I’d love to see an edge to edge screen – smaller footprint and less distraction. Would be one of the benifits switching to OLED

  11. this will be released by April/May 2014

    new product….they can’t wait until Sept 2014

  12. Guy Godin says:

    You can’t remove the bezels entirely because of practical reasons: without it, your palm will have contact with the touch screen when you hold your phone preventing any other touch points from registering.

    The google Nexus one had this problem and it was the worst touch screen experience ever. If your palm happened to be in contact with the edge of the screen, none of your gestures/taps would get picked up.

  13. Eliminating the side bezels (except for the thin metal edge), gives you a 4.5″ screen using the current dimensions of the iPhone 5/5s. To get to the mythical 5″ screen, it would have to be a half inch wider and between a half and three quarters of an inch taller. And neither could boast “one handed” operation.

    Doesn’t seem worth it to me, although edge to edge does look cool.

    Personally, I’d rather have this edge to edge design, and use it to make the physical device *smaller* while keeping the current 4″ screen.

  14. beta382 says:

    I can’t understand the deal with the edge-to-edge screen ideas. It doesn’t look good. It looks like a picture with the side parts of the frame removed. You could decrease the current bezel by ~1mm, but any more than that, and it starts to just look bad, and interferes with cases.

  15. Ian Nutter says:

    The first one looks nice, but mainly because the metal band is seamless, which we learned can’t work :(

    I think its a good idea to introduce touch sensitivity into the glass around the home button. Like swiping left or right to switch apps, or setting a direction to do things like open an app or something entirely different. And Once touch id gets advanced enough it would prevent accidental swipes because it’ll know your finger is there! And it’d be easier to use on a bigger device

    That idea is probably a while away, likely in the iPhone 7 or so.

  16. RP says:

    The first concept is gorgeous, and yes, the one ones that follow are quite dumb.

  17. Bob Black says:

    iPhlop 6 just means 6 ROWS OF ICONS>… amazing

  18. s92543 says:

    It’s not going to have any form factor or a bigger screen. It is going to be physically embedded inside the brain as a huge chip. You go into the Apple Store and 30 minutes later leave with a bandage wrapped round your bonce and a day later you can activate your device with whatever network you happen to have service with. The display really is retina……it just shows like a hallucination in front of your eyes and there is no more swiping. The alarm will wake you with an excrutiating headache and the music just rings in your ears. Though you know the words of the songs as if you wrote them.

    LOL

  19. “Ladies and Gentleman… iPhone Air.”

  20. Dan Mitchell says:

    I never use a smartphone with one hand – I hold the phone in my left hand and touch screen and keys with one of my right-hand fingers. So restricting the iPhone 6 size because they think everyone does it one-handed is a bad decision.

    • Ben Lovejoy says:

      I tend to do it quite frequently, mostly when in a rush, carrying a bag or pushing a bicycle with the other hand. I’d certainly say it’s very useful to be able to use it that way.

  21. I can’t wait for the iPhone 6! I am sick of the tiny screen on my iPhone 5. If I could hack iOS 7 on a HTC One I would do it.