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).
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.
Evan Niu, CFA owns shares of Apple. The Motley Fool recommends Apple. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple. 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.