Apple will reportedly launch three new iPhone models this year

29 Mar 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

A 4-inch iPhone 6 would be welcomed by many users (but will Apple deliver?).

Some people say the smaller phones are more manageable in the hand, while the larger iPhone 6 is easier to drop. Taking a look back at another week of news from Cupertino, this week’s Apple Loop looks at the potential for a four inch iPhone (possibly the iPhone 6C), wondering where the Beats streaming app for iOS is, Becoming Steve Jobs, the unsaid issues of the Apple Watch, Apple’s Chinese trade-in program, did Apple kill the iPad sales, and the conceptual Apple Drone.The three 2015 models of iPhone 6 being planned by Apple include the iPhone 6S, the iPhone 6S Plus, and a new iPhone 6C; respectively with 4.7-inch, 5.5-inch and 4-inch displays. Apple Loop is here to remind you of a few of the very many discussions that have happened around Apple over the last seven days (and you can read our weekly digest of Android news here on Forbes). The Apple rumor mill is kicking back into high gear with an unconfirmed report indicating the tech giant will release three — count ’em, three — iPhone handsets in September, including a lower-end iPhone 6C with a 4-inch display.

There’s no doubt that the iPhone 6 has been a smash hit, but Apple has sold far fewer of the huge iPhone 6 Plus, suggesting that consumers will go along with the supersizing or their smartphones only to a point. Japan Display and LG Display are two companies named in a Digitimes report that will manufacture the screens for the new devices, although the report also noted Sharp could also participate in the process. According to unnamed sources, the handsets will also feature scratch-resistant Corning Gorilla Glass, near-field communication (NFC), and fingerprint scanning technologies. Despite the reports of cracked displays that seem to affect users of smartphones across the market, Michael Oh, president and founder of Apple repair specialist Tech Superpowers in Cambridge, Mass., said he doesn’t see the company swapping out its own technology for Corning’s. “People talk a lot about Gorilla Glass, but it’s very difficult for a consumer to perceive a big increase in value because their phone is using the glass,” Oh told InformationWeek in an interview. “Is the consumer willing to pay $10 more, or even $5 more, if it has Gorilla Glass?

So far so good, but unfortunately there are two stupid flaws: Personally I think that it’s a pretty smart move for Apple to go with a 6C that is a generation behind. I don’t think people perceive it that way — at the end of the day it’s a smartphone, and you take care of it.” The Digitimes report also quoted sources saying that on the processing side, the likely-named 6S series will sport Apple’s A9 chips, while the 6C will use the A8.

The processors of the new iPhone 6S models will reportedly use new A9 microchips; while the current A8 chips will be used for the smaller iPhone 6C model. Apple is always looking to support an entry-level handset that networks can push as a ‘free’ handset thanks to the two-year subsidy, and the iPhone 5C was an incredibly successful smartphone, no matter what the critics thought.

In addition, The Wall Street Journal also reported the new handsets could include a version of the force click feature found on Apple’s latest line of notebooks, where pushing down with more force corresponds to additional actions. “Apple plans to add sensors to detect how hard a user is pressing on a screen to its next iPhones, incorporating a technology used in its forthcoming MacBook and Apple Watch, according to people familiar with the matter,” the Journal reported earlier this month. Where the 4S display had a 3:2 aspect ratio, the aspect ratio of the iPhone 5 series (the 5, 5S, and 5C) phones moved up to 16:9 with their 4-inch displays. While the iPhone 5S does have TouchID, it does not have the hardware to support Apple Pay, and Cupertino is putting a huge amount of focus on mobile payments.

Going back to screen size, Oh cautioned that he takes the 4-inch, iPhone 6C rumor with a generous helping of salt, finding it “very difficult” to believe Apple would go back to a smaller screen size, unless the device itself was substantially changed in some form. “It could be incredible pixel density, but then you run into legibility issues and so forth. Guess what, it’s not there! iOS 8.3 Beta 4 ships to developers continuing earlier iOS 8.3 beta support for a wireless version of CarPlay, Google 2-step verification, racially diverse emoji, filters for Messages (known/unknown senders), a UI tweak for the iOS keyboard and new compatibility for Apple Pay on the China UnionPay network. Although some have referred to the next-generation of iPhones as the “iPhone 7,” it’s more likely the talk of iPhone 6C is in line with the company’s current naming scheme.

In addition there are expanded voice commands for Siri, including the ability to initiate calls over speakerphone and the ability to skip password entry when downloading free apps. Attend Interop Las Vegas, the leading independent technology conference and expo series designed to inspire, inform, and connect the world’s IT community. Gordon Kelly wonders aloud if Beats is being pushed back to 8.4, but with the timing of Apple’s WWDC Developer event, squeezing in another iOS release looks unlikely. It could indeed appear in iOS 8.4 as some hope, though that would seem to a missed marketing opportunity with the hype of WWDC 2015 to follow shortly afterwards.

Lots of coverage on the book ‘Becoming Steve Jobs’ around the web, with the book being used to heap both bouquets and brickbats on the memory of Jobs and his time at Apple. You have to admit some of the hardware the Windows folks are putting out isn’t bad, especially when a hybrid computer can go from a MacBook Air form factor into a tablet form factor with a swinging hinge.

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