3 Things to Know Before the Apple iPhone 6 Launch

As the debut of the Apple iPhone 6 is less than a month away, we look at three of the most important storylines behind the much-anticipated smartphone.

Aug 30, 2014 at 9:30AM

Source: Apple

The release of Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone 6 is sure to be the marquee storyline of the fall, possibly even for all of 2014, for technology enthusiasts.

The upcoming iPhone 6 will mark Apple's most important device release in more than two years for a number of reasons, and the market certainly appears to have noticed.

And while the final details for the upcoming Apple iPhone 6 remains somewhat vague, here are three key ways to look at the iPhone 6 for tech enthusiasts and investors in the run-up to its eventual launch.

1) What we know made it in
With the iPhone 5s and 5c, Apple segmented its smartphone lineup by cost. And with the iPhone 6, Apple will further divide its iPhone lineup by screen size. Splitting the iPhone 6 in 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch models will serve as the most defining aspect of the new iPhone. This move has been confirmed by a number of reputable sources, meaning it's about as sure a change as investors can predict in predicting Apple's product innovations. However, it by no means the only virtually sure-fire detail that's emerged for the iPhone 6 either.

In terms of internal components, Apple's widely anticipated A8 chip will receive a serious speed upgrade, jumping from 1.3 GHz per core in the current A7 to 2.0 GHz per core in the A8. As has been expected, Apple could once again tap Broadcom for an upgraded Wi-Fi chip, this one utilizing the faster 802.11ac standard. Similarly, Apple will use Qualcomm's advanced MDM9x35 as the cellular modem for the iPhone 6 and Apple appears to be incorporating a NXP Semiconductor near field communication (NFC) chip as well. Again, these aren't necessarily set in stone, but moves that have been reported from highly regarded sources. I think of them as "safe bets" so to speak.

2) What's less clear
Moving further down the certainty scale are a series of rumors that clearly make sense for the iPhone 6, but lack some aspect (specificity, multiple high quality reports, etc.) to make them truly features of upgrades worth betting on.

A great example of this kind of rumor is the on-going debate regarding the iPhone 6's screen material. Apple's continued interest in sapphire glass via its exclusive partner GT Advanced Technologies has spurred a litany of rumors. Some theorize Apple will make the entire iPhone 6's outer casing from the ultra hard material, although this seems extremely unlikely due to problems with producing sapphire en masse. Other rumors claim Apple could use an extremely thin layer of sapphire spayed atop the main screen material that would prove nearly as durable as an all-sapphire covering. Yet others argue the iPhone 6 will use an updated, and presumably more scratch-resistant, version of Corning's Gorilla Glass. So while it's probably too ambiguous to pin down the exact make and model that will cover the iPhone 6's screen, there's clearly a unified theme here -- the iPhone 6's screen will be new, improved, and extremely scratch-resistant.  

Other plausible but more difficult-to-confirm rumors include Apple overhauling the iPhone 6's camera and/or flash system, potential new innovations with the fingerprint scanning home button, and that chronic production problems delay the actual shipping date for the larger 5.5-inch iPhone 6. Again, each of these rumors, and many like them, seem eminently possible. However, in the absence of repeat mentions from high quality sources, it's hard to get too worked up over many of these details. Rather, we'll simply need to wait until the iPhone 6's likely launch on Sept. 9 (another likely rumor in and of itself).

3) A winner regardless
Either way, the Apple iPhone 6 is a virtual lock to be a massive commercial success for a host of reasons.

I've repeatedly discussed Apple's veritably gray-haired iPhone lineup in key markets like the U.S. and China. This fact alone should help make the iPhone 6 Apple's most successful device ever from a financial perspective. Potential sales estimates vary widely, and this article's been all about not listening to rumors, so I won't traffic in such matters here.

Ultimately though, this is the most important takeaway in setting your expectations for Apple's iPhone 6. It will be an absolutely massive commercial and financial success for the world's largest publicly traded company. So while the rest of the rumor mill will spend the coming weeks hemming and hawing over potential specs and features, I'll contend that this is really the only point worth truly considering.

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!

[Editor's note: Corrected the iPhone 6 Apple error to the iPhone 6]

Andrew Tonner owns shares of Apple. The Motley Fool recommends Apple, Corning, and NXP Semiconductors. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple, Corning, and Qualcomm. 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.

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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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