10 Features to Watch for in Apple's iPhone 6

1 - 10 Features to Watch for in Apple's iPhone 6
2 - Sapphire Will Be Everywhere on the Device
3 - Expect Two Screen Sizes
4 - Apple Will Keep the Same Pricing
5 - The Same Three Colors Are on the Way
6 - TouchID Will Still Play a Role, of Course
7 - Apple Is Expected to Work With Taiwan Semiconductor on the A8
8 - Near-Field Communication for a Mobile Payment Platform?
9 - The Latest and Greatest WiFi Service
10 - Liquidmetal Integration for Onboard Sensors
11 - The Same Camera, but Better Features
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10 Features to Watch for in Apple's iPhone 6

by Don Reisinger

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Sapphire Will Be Everywhere on the Device

Sapphire will quite likely play a crucial role in the new iPhone 6, according to rumors and recent leaks. Over the past week, images have surfaced of what is purportedly a sapphire crystal-based screen that is entirely scratch-free. Apple has previously used sapphire in its camera lenses and TouchID, but according to reports, it'll play a central role in the device's new design.

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Expect Two Screen Sizes

Apple could be preparing not one, but two screen sizes for its next iPhone launch. The first device is expected to measure 4.7 inches diagonally, topping the 4-inch display available in the iPhone 5S. In addition, Apple will reportedly unveil a 5.5-inch smartphone aimed at the phablet market. Both products are expected to launch this year.

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Apple Will Keep the Same Pricing

Apple will reportedly maintain the same pricing model of $199 and up with two-year agreements on the 4.7-inch iPhone 6. What's not clear right now, however, is how the company plans to price the 5.5-inch iPhone model. It's entirely possible that the bigger screen will require Apple to charge customers more.

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The Same Three Colors Are on the Way

A few leaks out of China have shown three colors are again coming to the iPhone—black, gold and a silver-and-white. The devices look to be quite attractive, with the gold model especially improving upon the version available now. As for the iPhone 5C, there's no telling whether that will stick around or if Apple will try other flashy colors in other products it sells.

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TouchID Will Still Play a Role, of Course

TouchID, the fingerprint sensor that attempts to add more security to the iPhone 5S, will be coming back to the iPhone 6. Recently leaked images show that, along with a sapphire screen, TouchID included in the device. Apple believes TouchID is its secret to security success, and it's going all-in on the technology.

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Apple Is Expected to Work With Taiwan Semiconductor on the A8

A report surfaced just a few days ago saying that Taiwan Semiconductor has started shipping new processors to Apple, reducing the iPhone maker's reliance on Samsung for its chip needs. It's believed that those chips are Apple's A8 processors, which will be faster than previous models and more capable of handling high-end apps. We shall see.

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Near-Field Communication for a Mobile Payment Platform?

Near-field communication (NFC) has long been a rumored feature in Apple products, but it has yet to surface in any products. Lately, however, rumors have surfaced claiming that Apple is working on a new mobile payment platform to take on the likes of Google Wallet, and that would require NFC integration. If Apple announces a mobile wallet, expect NFC to be in the iPhone 6.

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The Latest and Greatest WiFi Service

Apple has reportedly decided, like many other companies in the mobile marketplace, including Samsung, to bundle 801.11ac WiFi in the iPhone 6. The technology provides faster potential throughput and has a longer range to offer Web service than 801.11n. Expect it to be available in all Apple mobile products launched from this point on.

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Liquidmetal Integration for Onboard Sensors

Since Apple acquired Liquidmetal Technologies in 2010, reports have suggested that the technology would be coming to its products. So far, however, it hasn't. That might change this year with the iPhone 6. Recent patent awards show that Apple is trying to use Liquidmetal alloys to improve the use of sensors in mobile devices. Those sensors would be health-related and work with the company's recently announced HealthKit.

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The Same Camera, but Better Features

Apple isn't expected to change the megapixel sensor in its new camera, but it will improve its functionality. Apple is expected to add optical image stabilization to the upcoming iPhone 6 camera, and could include separate sensors that would capture brightness and color to maximize image quality. Given the race for mobile photo supremacy, Apple should do something to try to catch up to Nokia's PureView.

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