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Apple iPhone 6 Analysis

At least some of you may recall that back on August 27, EDN and sibling site EE Times both published my predictions as to what today's product launch event might bring to Apple's iPhone product line. How'd I do with my guesses? Pretty well, I must say, although I can't take all of the credit.

With each iteration of the iPhone generation count, we seem to know more (and sooner) in advance of the actual announcement, thanks to inevitable leaks. To some degree, this is due to the products' overseas manufacturing base, and the ever-larger number of people involved in the manufacturing process by virtue of the ever-increasing production volumes. And to some degree, the increased leaks are due to the ever-increasing product feature set complexity, which involves an increasing number of building block suppliers. It's essentially impossible to keep everyone muzzled and otherwise under control, even for a “reality distortion field”-capable company like Apple.

Bogus rumors are inevitable from sketchy websites seeking page views, but amid the chaff are kernels of wheat (or, if you prefer, within all the smoke is at least some fire) that the smart folks at EDN and elsewhere can identify and pass along.

To wit, what did I get right? First off, with kudos to John Gruber, the screen sizes and at least one resolution set. The smaller (but still larger than today's iPhone 5s) iPhone 6 has a 4.7″ diagonal IPS LCD (I guessed the display technology right, too) with 1134×750 pixel (326 pixel-per-inch) resolution. And the larger iPhone 6 (now known as the iPhone 6 Plus) has a 5.5″ diagonal display. However, whereas Gruber thought that the iPhone 6 Plus would tout a 2208×1242 pixel (461 ppi) screen, it ended up “only” being 1920×1080 pixels (401 ppi). As I write these words, it's not yet known whether or not either or both of the product variants' displays will be protected by sapphire crystal, versus more conventional Corning Gorilla or other glass technologies.

Both iPhone 6 products also migrate to the 20 nm-fabricated A8 SoC, as I'd forecasted. It doubles the transistor count from the A7 precursor, to 2 billion. I suspect that Apple has not leveraged the expanded transistor budget to further double the on-chip CPU core count from two to four, and supposedly real benchmark testing results support this conjecture (as well as identifying a 1.4 GHz peak clock rate, and 1 GByte of system RAM). Instead, the company has probably used them to beef up the graphics core (particularly important for the high pixel count 1080p widescreen resolution of the iPhone 6 Plus), the ISP (image signal processor), and other on-chip logic resources, as well as the sizes and varieties of on-chip cache and other memory arrays. Apple claims that the A8's CPU is up to 25% more powerful than that in the A7, with the A8's GPU up to 50% faster.

Two weeks ago, I wrote, “One advantage to a larger phone surface area is that the total battery volume inside the phone can be 'spread' throughout it, thereby decreasing the required battery thickness (all other factors being equal).” Indeed this has seemingly occurred. Both iPhone 6 flavors' thicknesses — the base iPhone 6 at 6.9 mm and the Plus at 7.1 mm — are less than the 7.6 mm iPhone 5S. However, Apple claims that they'll both deliver equivalent if not better battery life than their predecessor.

For the rest of the story, see EBN sister site EDN .

17 comments on “Apple iPhone 6 Analysis

  1. SP
    September 9, 2014

    I think its a prestige issue to have one Apple phone or may be its just too classy. How much they are quoting for iphone 6…

  2. Daniel
    September 10, 2014

    “I think its a prestige issue to have one Apple phone or may be its just too classy. How much they are quoting for iphone 6…”

    SP, that prestige issues are only with some of the high end peoples. Others are always preferring Samsung Note and other high end models.

  3. SP
    September 11, 2014

    Not only high end people..i see many people having iphones thesedays and they feel so proud ot have one..

  4. Daniel
    September 12, 2014

    “Not only high end people..i see many people having iphones thesedays and they feel so proud ot have one..”

    SP, you may be righty and it depends upon the geographical location too.

  5. t.alex
    September 15, 2014

    Many people might be disappointed in iphone 6 by Apple for various reasons. However, Apple without a doubt is number one profittable company in the world right now, twice google in term of market cap. Number one reason why i believe it would bring Apple a lot of profit since it will defnitely fulfill the demand for bigger screen smartphone but easy to use unlike Samsung or other brands.

     

  6. Anand
    September 16, 2014

    The iPhone sales have been going down with iPhone 5c,5s. The most number of units sold were of the iPhone 4s which was a technical revolution. People may want a bigger screen but they want other things along with those things, for example, better call reception and better memory.

  7. Anand
    September 16, 2014

    Basically the sales around South Eastern Asia is going up because people believe that holding an iPhone symbolizes theur status and power. And it seriously is the case. People ogle at other people holding iPhones and therefore everyone must have one to gain popularity. This is intelligent marketing from Apple's behalf.

  8. Hailey Lynne McKeefry
    September 16, 2014

    @SP, i know there are people who upgrade as each new model comes out. Personally, I keep phones for multiple years (four or five on average). THe marketing machine is part of this… it convinces people that the newest featurs are must have things that users can't live without.

  9. Hailey Lynne McKeefry
    September 16, 2014

    @anandavy this is one of the first times i would say Apple was being reactive rather than proactive. In the past, I think  Apple was setting the pace. These big screams seem to be a move to address people who like Samsung's newest offerings.

  10. Daniel
    September 23, 2014

    “Basically the sales around South Eastern Asia is going up because people believe that holding an iPhone symbolizes theur status and power. And it seriously is the case. People ogle at other people holding iPhones and therefore everyone must have one to gain popularity. This is intelligent marketing from Apple's behalf.”

    Anandvy, That's only for middle and high segment people. for others carbon, micromax etc are doing well.

  11. Daniel
    September 23, 2014

    ” this is one of the first times i would say Apple was being reactive rather than proactive. In the past, I think  Apple was setting the pace. These big screams seem to be a move to address people who like Samsung's newest offerings.”

    Hailey, what does this statement means?

  12. Hailey Lynne McKeefry
    September 25, 2014

    @Jacob, when i saw the new iPhone, particularly the largest footprint model, i immediately thought of the Samsung Galaxy. In the past, other products made me think of Apple and its products.

  13. Daniel
    September 25, 2014

    “when i saw the new iPhone, particularly the largest footprint model, i immediately thought of the Samsung Galaxy. In the past, other products made me think of Apple and its products.”

    Hailey, you mean that Samsung had made such an impact in market.

  14. t.alex
    September 28, 2014

    You can say that Iphone is similar to “Samsung galaxy” but talking about quality and user friendly Apple is way further ahead of SamSung. The product looks more expensive with better high quality unlike SamSung phone. Cell phones have been around for hundreds years, but Apple do it better with “style”. We don't call it a smartphone or cellphone, it's an “iphone”. 

  15. Hailey Lynne McKeefry
    September 28, 2014

    @Jacob, i think in the electronics industry in particular and personal electronics even more so, there's a loyalty that's built with products. I know a number of people who adopted teh Samsung Galaxy because it met a need and are now loyal users. they wouldn't switch to the iPhone for anything. Granted, that's not every user… but certainly, Samsung's early market approach wooed some users.

  16. Hailey Lynne McKeefry
    September 28, 2014

    @t.Alex, i see you've drunk the Apple Kool-Aid. I am an admitted Apple fan but i'm bi-lingual… i've used both Mac and Windows–and written about both extensively. I think each has its benefits. when it comes to pretty or cool, though, I'll admit that Apple wins, for me, hands down.

  17. Daniel
    September 29, 2014

    “i think in the electronics industry in particular and personal electronics even more so, there's a loyalty that's built with products. I know a number of people who adopted teh Samsung Galaxy because it met a need and are now loyal users. they wouldn't switch to the iPhone for anything. Granted, that's not every user… but certainly, Samsung's early market approach wooed some users.”

    Hailey, that's a type of device and brand dependency. Quiet sometimes back even Black berry have similar loyalists; but what happens latter. Everything depends up on how the device suits for your requirements.

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