Only Believe 1 of These 2 New Apple iPhone 6 Leaks

The rate of Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL  ) iPhone 6 leaks continues to escalate as investors quickly approach the expected release in September. This morning, two fresh rumors are making the rounds, offering additional details about Apple's upcoming models. How believable are they?

More is not better
Apple is generally able to avoid competing purely on specs. When it comes to camera sensors, other OEMs have been waging a megapixel war even though more pixels don't necessarily translate into higher image quality. HTC tried to buck the trend last year with the One, even if that device didn't smash any sales records. Samsung has been content packing more megapixels into its flagship devices. Meanwhile, Apple has stood pat at 8-megapixels in the iPhone since 2011.

G for Games believes that Apple will finally move up to a 13-megapixel shooter, an upgrade from the current Sony sensor that it uses. That directly conflicts with prior reports that Apple will again stick with an 8-megapixel sensor in the iPhone 6 and instead focus on improving performance with other features like optimal image stabilization (which is common in rival devices).

New camera tools in iOS 8. Source: Apple.

Camera performance is absolutely one of Apple's top priorities for the iPhone, frequently noting that the iPhone is one of the most widely used cameras in the world. iOS 8 also includes numerous features for shutterbugs, including manual controls and new shooting modes.

I'm skeptical of this one. Increasing the sensor to 13-megapixels would be of negligible benefit, while Apple has shown that it can effectively market the benefits of an 8-megapixel sensor if it can improve performance through other avenues, such as larger (not more) pixels for better low-light performance.

Bigger is better
As much as Apple loves thin and light, that focus can sometimes lead to some compromises with product design. Specifically, pursuing thin and light designs make it very challenging for Apple to improve battery life since larger batteries generally offer higher capacity.

A new photo has leaked, purporting to be the iPhone 6 battery. The battery's capacity is 1,810 mAh, which would be up from the current iPhone 5s battery capacity of 1,560 mAh. That total capacity would also be less than what rival flagship devices offer, but at the same time that doesn't necessarily indicate what actual battery life will be. Apple's vertical integration gives it advantages in power efficiency, especially considering how efficiently its A-chip processors consume energy.

Rivals have begun to target Apple over battery life. In March, BlackBerry Chief Executive Officer John Chen called iPhone users "wall huggers," suggesting that iPhone users are constantly searching for power outlets. Samsung piggybacked directly on this idea, releasing an attack ad this month by the same name while pitching its replaceable batteries as a key selling feature.

While the iPhone 6 will likely be thinner and lighter than its predecessors, it should also be larger. That will give Apple some leeway with including a larger capacity battery. This leak checks out.

Speaking of Apple leaks
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  • Report this Comment On July 18, 2014, at 3:23 PM, Markesito wrote:

    Hi Evan

    Nice article. :-)

    Some comments on the battery size and capacity.

    (I'll split the analysis in a few comments, since it looks like I exceed the comments' limit of characters)

    The current iPhone 5/5s screen is 4 inches, which with a proportion of 16:9 gives 6.84 square inches.

    The common consensus on the new screens for the iPhone 6 are two sizes: 4.7 and 5.5 diagonal inches.

    That will bring us 9.44 and 12.93 square inches.

    That represents a real size 38% bigger screen area on the iPhone 6 4.7 display and 89% bigger on the 5.5 version!!

  • Report this Comment On July 18, 2014, at 3:23 PM, Markesito wrote:

    Also, the experts insist that we may see a new increase of the pixel density, tripling the original one (the Retina displays were doubling the original).

    Not increasing the pixel density would mean that the 5.5 display will fall below Steve Job's definition of "Retina" way below desired. Also, not tripling the density but increasing the density somehow would mean that developers will require a hard work to adapt their existing apps.

    A higher density will require more battery power to allow the graphic processor to cope with more pixels.

    And a bigger screen will need more battery to lit more pixels.

    I doubt that a 16% increase in battery capacity can allow a better battery life even in the small, 4.7, version of the iPhone 6.

    And a bigger battery and a bigger screen will make iPhone 6 impossibly lighter than iPhone 5.

    So, expect maybe a thinner device (bigger size will "free" some cubic inches inside, which may allow a redesign of components placement to gain in thinness), but not a lighter one at all.

    And pray for Apple adopting a much bigger capacity in the battery, or we, iPhone owners, will be more wall huggers than ever!


    //Pablo (Apple fan since the 80's and proud shareholder since the stocks were at $30)

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Evan Niu

Evan is a Senior Technology Specialist at The Motley Fool. He was previously a Senior Trading Specialist at a major discount broker. Evan graduated from the University of Texas at Austin, and is a CFA charterholder.

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