Here’s What We Know About the iPhone 6 So Far

Quite a bit, actually!

Jul 19, 2014 at 12:05PM

The launch date of Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) next generation iPhone -- known for now as the iPhone 6 -- appears to be fast approaching. While the exact launch date is unknown to all but to a chosen few, it's probably safe to bank on a mid-September launch. Though the wait seems torturous, we can bide the time by taking a look at everything that we do know about the phone so far, and ultimately what it will mean for investors.

It's bigger
For quite a while there was plenty of speculation around what size(s) the new iPhone would come in. After reports that Apple was testing numerous sizes, the consensus now seems to be that the standard model will come in a 4.7-inch size and that a larger variant will come in at 5.5 inches. No matter what Apple's launch schedule looks like, it's clear that the next iPhone will be larger than the current one.

Although the iPhone 5s due with just a 4-inch screen, it is still the world's best-selling smartphone nearly 10 months after its launch, outpacing Samsung's Galaxy S5 (aka "The Next Big Thing"). Though consumer trends are very difficult to predict, it seems almost like a no-brainer at this point to expect Apple to gain significant share with its newer, larger iPhone models.

It's faster
The next generation iPhone will likely feature a next generation, Apple-designed "A-series" chip. The chip is very likely to be built at Taiwan Semiconductor (NYSE:TSM) on its 20-nanometer manufacturing technology. This should allow for significant performance/density improvements over the current generation A7 chip (and should provide a boost to Taiwan Semiconductor, even if it is temporary). 

The new chip is likely to sport a fresh pair of Apple-designed 64-bit ARM-compatible processor cores, bringing to the table a sizable increase in performance. In addition, though it's not entirely clear yet, the A8 could either sport Imagination Technologies' next generation Series 6XT graphics architecture or a home-grown Apple-designed graphics processor. Either way, graphics performance -- by virtue of the added chip real estate that the 20-nanometer process brings -- should be way up in the iPhone 6 (meaning that games look more realistic and run more smoothly).

It's covered in sapphire?
Ever since Apple signed a strategic supply agreement with GT Advanced Technologies (NASDAQOTH:GTATQ) to get its hands on massive quantities of sapphire, it has been speculated that the next generation iPhone will ditch Corning's Gorilla Glass for a sapphire cover glass.

YouTube tech star Marques Brownlee got his hands on what seems to be the front cover for the iPhone 6 -- and it looks as though it really is made of sapphire. Motley Fool senior technology specialist Evan Niu calls this move to a sapphire crystal display cover "brilliant and perfectly timed," and given how nearly unbreakable the display seems to be, it's hard to disagree.

What about margins?
The new iPhone will be jam packed with new features and enhancements relative to the prior generation iPhone, so of course there will be concerns about margins -- at least initially. There's little doubt that the components will be a bit more expensive on balance, and the new industrial design probably won't yield as well as the current, two-year-old iPhone 5/5s design, so -- barring a price increase -- Apple is likely to see a bit of gross margin pressure.

That said, if Apple can drive significantly higher volumes (which is the expectation), then this is more than likely to offset any per-unit gross margin loss.

Foolish bottom line
The next generation iPhone is likely to be the biggest launch that Apple has ever done -- both literally and figuratively. The phone is likely to be compelling enough to keep the vast majority of existing iPhone users that are looking for an upgrade, and at the same time could bring back customers that prefer iOS but had flocked to Android in search of larger screen sizes. If this thesis plays out as expected, then not only will Apple grow its share in the premium smartphone space, but it will solidify its dominance as the world's most profitable smartphone vendor.

Leaked: Apple's next smart device (warning, it may shock you)
Apple recently recruited a secret-development "dream team" to guarantee its newest smart device was kept hidden from the public for as long as possible. But the secret is out, and some early viewers are claiming its everyday impact could trump the iPod, iPhone, and the iPad. In fact, ABI Research predicts 485 million of this type of device will be sold per year. But one small company makes Apple's gadget possible. And its stock price has nearly unlimited room to run for early in-the-know investors. To be one of them, and see Apple's newest smart gizmo, just click here!

Ashraf Eassa owns shares of ARM Holdings. The Motley Fool recommends Apple and Corning. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple and Corning. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett's Warning

Don't be one of them.

Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

Admitting fear is difficult.

So you can imagine how shocked I was to find out Warren Buffett recently told a select number of investors about the cutting-edge technology that's keeping him awake at night.

This past May, The Motley Fool sent 8 of its best stock analysts to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting. CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger fielded questions for nearly 6 hours.
The catch was: Attendees weren't allowed to record any of it. No audio. No video. 

Our team of analysts wrote down every single word Buffett and Munger uttered. Over 16,000 words. But only two words stood out to me as I read the detailed transcript of the event: "Real threat."

That's how Buffett responded when asked about this emerging market that is already expected to be worth more than $2 trillion in the U.S. alone. Google has already put some of its best engineers behind the technology powering this trend. 

The amazing thing is, while Buffett may be nervous, the rest of us can invest in this new industry BEFORE the old money realizes what hit them.

KPMG advises we're "on the cusp of revolutionary change" coming much "sooner than you think."

Even one legendary MIT professor had to recant his position that the technology was "beyond the capability of computer science." (He recently confessed to The Wall Street Journal that he's now a believer and amazed "how quickly this technology caught on.")

Yet according to one J.D. Power and Associates survey, only 1 in 5 Americans are even interested in this technology, much less ready to invest in it. Needless to say, you haven't missed your window of opportunity. 

Think about how many amazing technologies you've watched soar to new heights while you kick yourself thinking, "I knew about that technology before everyone was talking about it, but I just sat on my hands." 

Don't let that happen again. This time, it should be your family telling you, "I can't believe you knew about and invested in that technology so early on."

That's why I hope you take just a few minutes to access the exclusive research our team of analysts has put together on this industry and the one stock positioned to capitalize on this major shift.

Click here to learn about this incredible technology before Buffett stops being scared and starts buying!

David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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