iPhone 6 release: When will it happen and what will change?

The iPhone 6 has been subject to rampant speculation over the past few months, with rumors swirling about the way Apple designers would enhance one of their signature products. While confirmed details are still scant, early reports indicate that a variety of potential developments could have a marked effect on software programming - including the removal of the home button.

TechRadar contributors Gareth Beavis and John McCann compiled some of the more accepted details of the iPhone 6's development. They noted that the Apple production cycle has generally delivered an "S" model as a halfway point between numbered products, carrying some upgrades. The iPhone 5S has been around since September 2013, which means that the iPhone 6 should be coming down the pipe this year.

One of the main points that Beavis and McCann noted will be driving Apple's strategy is the popularity of mobile devices with larger screens. The so-called "phablets" produced by Samsung and Sony have offered users a larger screen size smartphone that still provides the handheld capacity a tablet does not. The iPhone 6 is expected to drop in September, following a predicted announcement in June.

Will the home button be phased out?
Another development arising from the popularity of tablets is the use of touchscreens driving the user experience. The combination of larger screen sizes and receptive touch technology has driven users to be more comfortable with and even prefer touchscreens without any button or external keyboard add-ons.

"We reckon there will be two screen sizes and resolutions, as mentioned above," Beavis and McCann wrote. "A Full HD display makes perfect sense for the iPhone 6, especially if it grows to a 4.7-inch screen as mooted, and the iPhablet will push things even further to preserve the Retina experience on a larger display."

The benefits of a larger screen size for software development
The iPhone actually trails some of its competitors in offering a larger screen size. This has no doubt impacted some developers who are designing enterprise applications for cross-platform utilization. Designing for different screen sizes and functionality can be irritating and hamper time to deployment. Having more uniform specs across devices could help software programmers streamline the design process for all the environments in which their devices will be used.

The larger screen size could mean that the device will not fit comfortably in the front shirt pocket, in accordance with Steve Jobs' original vision for the smartphone, according to the Mac Observer. This could have an effect on the way business users have to carry it, but it serves as a reminder that the role of enterprise mobile devices will continue to shift. The iPhone 6 will likely reflect those evolving needs.


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