KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, in a report this morning, states that both 4.7- and 5.5-inch models of the iPhone 6 will be launched next week and will both offer 128GB storage option. If Apple retains its usual three-tier structure this would suggest 32GB, 64GB and 128GB models – though it could be that 128GB would be a fourth tier, as with its iPad Air models. Or, as a previous report suggested, Apple could keep the 16GB option as a very low price tier and skip 32GB.
The same report predicts that the iPad Air 2 will be announced on the same day as the iPhone 6 rather than in a separate event in October. In this scenario, Apple would forgo any physical updates to the iPad mini line (perhaps price drops?). If true, this suggests that it could be a relatively minor refresh, perhaps simply with Touch ID added and a marginally thinner casing along with the RAM bumped up to 2GB for things like split window multitasking …
Kuo also predicts that the power button – moved to the side – could be a programmable multi-function key, perhaps launching a specific app in response to a long or short press. He also expects the phone to have a barometer, which could take breath measurements as part of the health focus or be involved in weather
The camera lens will, he predicts, lose its sapphire coating after failing drop tests. Although sapphire is much more scratch-resistant than glass, it is more prone to shattering, and the protruding lens would make it significantly more vulnerable than on present models. There is no information in this report on whether the screen will be sapphire, though countless previous reports indicate that at least some of the iPhone 6 displays will be sapphire.
Key spec forecasts – No sapphire cover lens, 128GB, built-in barometer pressure sensor & programmable power key
(1) Due to drop test issues, neither 4.7-inch nor 5.5-inch iPhone 6 will have a sapphire cover lens, we believe; (2) as Apple has strong bargaining power on NAND Flash price, and in a bid to meet the large capacity demand of consumers as well as to differentiate themselves from competing models, both 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch iPhone 6 will come with 128GB; (3) a built-in barometer can provide more indoor navigation applications and health-management applications relating to spirometry; and (4) we predict (discussed in an earlier report) that the power key will be moved from the upper position to the side. We now further predict that the power key could be programmable to be integrated with specific applications, giving more input options in addition to being a power switch.
The report reiterates previous predictions that both models will be announced on the 9th September, but the 5.5-inch model will go on sale at a later date due to component yield issues and “assembly challenge”. It suggests that supplies of both models could be constrained for 1-2 month, the 4.7-inch model affected by labour shortages at Foxconn.
The same report predicts that the iWatch will be announced at the same event with 8GB storage, 512MB RAM and two different sizes.