As 2014 marches on, the bystanders of the tech world are building their desire for the next great thing from Apple. The iPhone 5S and 5C may not be that old, but they’re old enough that people are craving the newest, greatest thing from Cupertino. None of these rumors are confirmed, of course, but they are the best information I have been able to get.
The materials for the iPhone are getting upgraded for sure. Apple has filed numerous patents and has spent hundreds of millions of dollars investing in developing improvements in the physical properties of the iPhone. The first, big one is Liquidmetal, an alloy that Apple has exclusive use of. It’s lighter and stronger than the current aluminum that Apple has been using.
The glass is also going to be replaced by a “sapphire glass.” It’s already in the fingerprint scanner and has proven to be much harder and virtually scratchproof. These two advances should allow the iPhone to become even lighter and less susceptible to breaking.
Apple is not set to rest on its laurels, as it seems to be planning for the largest fundamental shift in what the iPhone is since it came out. Rumors state that the line is going to be shifted into two high-end phones and one low-end phone. The low-end phone, called the iPhone 6C, is simple: those material adjustments with the power of the iPhone 4S. It’s meant to compete with the Moto G and will be sold for a mere $209.
The high-end phones will be about choice, with two designs for the future. The first is the iPhone 6U. As many have noticed, curved screens are becoming a big deal in the tech world, and Apple hates nothing more than to be left behind, so the iPhone 6U is their innovative curved device. Rather than the normal lateral, concave curve of the Galaxy Round, Apple is revolutionizing the game with its specialized diagonal, convex curve. It is their most striking design accomplishment yet, but has enormous practical use for increasing its field of view. The shape of the screen makes it easy to show videos to multiple people at once,
The iPhone 6K is going in an entirely different direction, with an oft-requested feature from old phones: a physical keyboard. Apple being Apple, though, is changing the game there too, with an innovative keyboard layout that supposedly allows for much faster typing than the old Qwerty standard. It’s based on the Dvorak layout but will be optimized for the small size of the keyboard. Their ideal is that word processing should be faster on the phone than it is on a normal sized keyboard. The phone will be a little larger than other models, but the size hides the important innovation here: instead of sliding under the screen, it slides inside the phone’s shell. A button pops it out and the actual phone internals are within this keyboard.
Apple has also noticed the particularly high sales of Samsung’s Galaxy series and is making its most radical change yet: new iPhones will be running a version of Android. Information from highly secretive meetings between Google and Apple have leaked suggesting that they will be working together on this gigantic change.
What Apple will do is take the stock Android system and skin it, much like other manufacturers do, to look like their own design standards. It will run old and future iOS apps through a highly efficient emulator that ensures no more compatibility loss than a normal iOS upgrade. The iPad is expected to stay as an iOS device.