A special Top 11 list today from noted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo on the next iPhone (6s? 7?) that will be released later this year. Counting down:
- Force Touch will be the biggest upgraded selling point, but also one of the main bottlenecks of the supply chain. Force Touch can enrich user experience due to more input methods and support of handwritten signatures, which is beneficial for expanding in the commercial market
- Screen will remain at 4.7 and 5.5 inches, with resolution the same as existing models. There will be no new 4-inch model
- There will be an additional casing color, rose gold, matching the rose-gold Apple Watch Edition
- The camera will have a pixel upgrade, likely to 12MP
- One microphone will be added near the speaker to enhance voice quality
- The A9 processor with upgraded 2GB LPDDR4 will be adopted
- The bending issue will be improved by using different casing materials and internal mechanical design changes
- If drop test issues can be resolved, the 5.5-inch model will have a limited number of units with sapphire cover lens
- The recognition rate of Touch ID will be improved further in a bid to promote Apple Pay
- Gesture control support
- It’s expected that mass production will start in mid-to-late August. Total shipments will be 80-90mn in 2015, with a 2:1 ratio of 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch models.
It is interesting that drop tests are what’s limiting sapphire and not GT Advanced production issues we saw last year. Also, Force Touch and gesture support would need to be an OS level upgrade. Will Apple reveal these features (on purpose or accidentally) with iOS 9 in June or wait for a point upgrade in the September timeframe when iPhone and eventually iPad hardware is expected.
As for Rose Gold, it will be interesting to see if Apple is bringing its “Edition” high end line to iPhones along with its premium prices. I hope not.
The 2GB of RAM is a given because the iPad Air 2 had 2GB of RAM. DDR4 is fast. Samsung and LG both released smartphones with amazing cameras this year already. It will be interesting to see how Apple’s 12MP version compares.
We’re still a long way away but it seems like we may have an interesting September.