Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is now just three months away from its expected iPhone 6 launch, assuming that the Mac maker sticks with its September iPhone event. As such, the rumor mill is intensifying with purported leaks. With Apple's recent efforts to crack down on leaks coming out of China, should you believe them?
Over the weekend, a new set of images was unearthed by French site Nowhereelse, offering numerous angles of a possible iPhone 6 chassis.
The snapshots are similar to previous iPhone 6 images that have circulated on the Internet in recent months, which could potentially add some credibility to the latest pictures.
Following close behind
Beyond images, VentureBeat is also reporting various other specs that could be in the next-generation iPhone. Investors are already widely expecting the iPhone 6 to feature a larger display to capture the growing phablet trend. VentureBeat chimes in with additional confirmation that the iPhone 6 will be huge.
To date, Apple has been averse to using near-field communications, or NFC, in its devices. Marketing chief Phil Schiller even bashed NFC in 2012 at the iPhone 5 launch, saying that the technology doesn't actually solve any current problems for users. At the same time, he also said that wireless charging was "more complicated" since users would have to carry around yet another device.
Both NFC and wireless charging are coming to the iPhone 6, according to VentureBeat.
Even as NFC has failed to gain the mainstream traction due to insufficient infrastructure, there is chance that it could see wider adoption if Apple jumps on the NFC bandwagon. Most mobile payment services have incorporated NFC to some extent, and Apple has yet to make a first-party entry. Still, facilitating third-party services could also be the right move, since selling more iPhones is all that Apple truly cares about. If true, this could merely be a way to hedge its bets until a leader emerges in the nascent mobile payments arena.
Wireless charging also lacks a uniform standard. That hasn't stopped rival OEMs from embracing wireless charging, including Nokia (whose devices business is now owned by Microsoft) and Google (via its Nexus devices). Right now, wireless charging on iPhones requires third-party adaptors like some displayed at CES earlier this year. Apple loves proprietary standards, but when it comes to charging it could piggyback on third-party infrastructure investments so long as it picks the standard that becomes mainstream. That would be the key strategic difference compared to something like Apple's proprietary Lightning port.
Also potentially on tap would be an even faster LTE radio. Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) is Apple's exclusive baseband vendor -- and for good reason as the dominant leader in cellular modems. Qualcomm demonstrated a new Gobi 9x35 modem at Mobile World Congress in February, featuring LTE Advanced. Apple isn't expected to adopt LTE Advanced quite yet, and those modems only began sampling earlier this year. They may not be ready for mass production quite yet, and if there's one thing that Apple needs from iPhone component vendors, it's volume.
As with all Apple rumors, investors should consider the speculation with a bucket of salt. Apple has sandbagged technologies in the past, so adopting NFC and wireless charging later than rivals is still a possibility. The iPhone 6 is still likely set to break records.
Evan Niu, CFA owns shares of Apple and Qualcomm and has the following options: long January 2015 $65.71 calls on Apple and short January 2015 $68.57 calls on Apple. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Apple and Google (A and C shares). It owns shares of Microsoft 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.