We have passed the mobile Internet tipping point, where now more than 50 percent of digital media is consumed on mobile devices (in the case of news consumption in 2013, the number is 54 percent). And since Apple makes 42 percent of all smartphones owned by American media consumers, any changes coming down the road for the new iPhone is a big deal to anyone in the media business — especially since iPhone users are generally younger, more affluent, use more apps, and are more willing to engage in mobile commerce.
On a global scale, the share of smartphones among the 5.2 billion mobile phones worldwide is at 30 percent — or 1.56 billion — and growing.
So with the long-awaited arrival of the iPhone 6, the rumors swirling around aren’t just important to tech geeks and the types of early adopters who camp out to stand in line to get the newest shiny new thing — it’s also important for people who want to sell these people things and stuff and services.
Samsung has tipped its hand that it’s worried about the new iPhone by running an ad campaign against it before it even gets released.
So what’s in this new iPhone, and how will it affect app developers, marketers and end users when it hits the streets? Here’s a break down of the rumors of the iPhone 6’s new features:
Bigger screens: Samsung continues to dominate in mere screen size, so Apple seems to be fighting back. The iPhone screen grew from 3.5 inches to 4.0 inches from the iPhone 4 to the iPhone 5, and the word from suppliers that the iPhone 6 screen will be even larger at 4.7 inches, plus an additional bigger “phablet” model at 5.5 inches. iPhone had once been a developer’s dream because there was only one size to design to while Android platforms come in all sorts of shapes and dimensions. With two iPhone sizes (and two iPad sizes), Apple’s app platform will become a little trickier to navigate.
Better quality screens: Rumors surrounding plans for an Apple-affiliated factory in Mesa, Arizona that will be set to produce enough sapphire glass displays for 100 million to 200 million 5-inch iPhones per year. So what is sapphire glass? Basically, it’s a synthesized crystal that’s 10 times stronger than stainless steel. So that means fewer college kids walking around with cracked iPhone displays.
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Superior screen resolution: iPhone’s signature “retina display” is defined by a pixel saturation so dense that the human eye can’t see any pixels, and while it seems clear that the iPhone 6 will meet or surpass this threshold, there is still uncertainty as to what the exact resolution will be.
Better camera: New schematics of the iPhone 6 include a protruding ring around the camera hole in the back casing, which could indicate a protruding lens. That, combined with the continuation of the “true tone” LED flash from the latest iPhone 5 models, would suggest another potential advance in picture-taking technology, which will surely impact even further the ease with which users will contribute to the visual web. Is 13 megapixels enough megapixels for you?
Better processor — It’s assumed that the A8 processor that Apple has designed for the iPhone 6 will offer a similar upgrade as the A7 did over the A6, or about 31%. It’s also possible that the bigger iPhone 6 will have a faster processor than the smaller one, and both could be limited to 1 GB of RAM.
Better weather forecasting — Yep. The new iPhone 6 is said to have an atmospheric pressure sensor and/or a barometric pressure sensor, which would increase dramatically your phone’s ability to interpret and predict the weather, as well as possibly automatic “airplane mode” at a certain altitude.
Better battery life — Get this: “slightly better” battery life! Slightly better! Get ready to continue to complain about your new iPhone’s ability to make it through the day.
Thumbprint scanner — If you liked the iPhone 5’s thumbprint scanner, you’re in luck. It will be back with the iPhone 6.
NFC — Yes, perhaps the biggest news for the sake of marketers and retailers is that the iPhone 6 will come with NFC technology, (near-field communications) which should catapult both the iPhone and NFC as the leader in phone-based payments for in-real-life retail transactions. This seems to possibly work against Apple’s investment in its Bluetooth-based iBeacons technology, but certainly the pros at Cupertino have something in mind that will bring these two technologies together to make the Internet of Things a happy place for marketing pros.