Cut to the chase
- What is it? A major revision of the iPhone including entire design
- When is it out? September 9 2014 seems most likely
- What will it cost? Prices are likely to start at around £550 / $944 / AU$1006
iPhone 6 release date
The iPhone 6 release date is virtually certain for September, which would fit in nicely with the rollout of the newly announced iOS 8.
More exactly, the iPhone 6 release date momentum has now gathered pace around September 9, an idle Tuesday at the start of the month.
Apple has launched the last few iPhones at a special event in September, so the smart money has always been on September 2014 for the iPhone 6's arrival - followed by a new iPad Air launch in October.
Not to mention the fact that according to ifun.de Apple is restricting holidays during September for employees at German Apple Stores, which strongly suggests a new hardware launch then.
It's looking increasingly likely that we'll see more than one Apple handset this year, with a 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and a 5.5-inch phablet - possibly dubbed the iPhone Air - coming alongside. The latter was rumored to be pushed until later in the year, thanks to problems with the battery and production, but recent updates seem to say these have been solved.
TechRadar's sources have also intimated that both models will launch together, so we're pretty confident that will happen.
The launch could still be split - it makes sense to launch an iPhone Air and iWatch together at an event - but that would be too many in the space of a few months, so an iPhone 6 and iPhone Air dual announcement makes sense.
And it sounds like production is about to start, as the Economic DailyNews reports that the 4.7-inch has already gone into production, while the 5.5-inch handset will enter production soon too - so it could be the release dates for the two models are split.
iPhone 6 price
There's one thing we can be sure about when it comes to the iPhone 6 - it won't be cheap.
Apple's legacy is a long line of premium devices sporting premium price tags and you can expect that trend to continue with the iPhone 6.
One analyst even goes as far as predicting that Apple will hike up the price of the iPhone 6, possibly by as much as $100 (around £60, AU$110). With a larger screen, new glass covering the front and possibly even a new, more impressive, material used in construction, we can see the price being hiked.
We'd be surprised is the mooted 4.7-inch iPhone 6 would get such a massive price bump, as it needs to stay competitive, but the hike does make sense if Apple launches a larger, phablet sized iPhone.
We have also got wind of possible pricing for the 4.7-inch model and it's reportedly starting at around £500 for a 32GB handset, which is around the same as a 16GB iPhone 5S, so if anything it might be a little cheaper, but that still leaves the 5.5-inch model open to being more expensive.
Indeed the latest pricing rumors echo the £500/$858/AU$915 pricing for the 4.7-inch model, but add that the 5.5-inch handset is likely to start at around £563/$966/AU$1030 and those are based on Chinese prices, so won't account for local taxes.
Interestingly the same sources claim that the 5.5-inch handset will be called the 'iPhone Air'.
iPhone 6 design
We could see up to three models coming on September 9: an iPhone 5C sequel, an iPhone 6 and an iPhone Air, with the latter being a larger size to compete with the likes of the Galaxy Note 3, as phablets are becoming hugely popular in areas like Asia.
One thing you probably can expect is more premium metal to come your way with the iPhone 6, and Apple patents for liquidmetal 3D printing suggest there may be a new way to form the sultry chassis on the new iPhone.
Writing in early January 2014, MacRumors quotes a batch of liquidmetal patents reportedly filed by Apple employees.
This has been doing the rounds for a while though, and apparently it's a tricky material to work with.
Liquidmetal or not, that chassis could well be the thinnest yet (thanks to that LED backlight we mentioned earlier) - with word that Apple will slim down the svelte 7.6mm 5S body for the iPhone 6, and if leaked images of the phone's case are legit the handset may well be shockingly slender.
These shots are similar to another picture claiming to show the internal body work of the iPhone 6, where the LCD display would sit plus further snaps of the rear picked up by MacRumors - adding yet more detail to the collection of leaks we're gathering.
Newer, more detailed images give us an even clearer look at its slimline shell, as well as showing it in a fancy new dark grey colour, which may be one of the colour options come release.
Another thing to take away from this image is that the Apple logo is a cut-out. There are several possible reasons for that, and given Apple is looking to add NFC into the phone for the first time then having a metal free section makes perfect sense, backed up by more recent leaks with the new logo cut-out.
We've since seen images of a thin plastic Apple logo in the slot, thin enough that light could shine through it, leading to suggestions that it will light up, possibly to alert users to notifications.
With talk of larger screens, we can expect the body of the iPhone 6 to grow and leaked schematic designs claim the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 will be 66mm wide and 7.0mm thick (the 5S is 58.6 x 7.6mm).
The larger 5.5-inch handset is said to be 77mm in width and a super svelte 6.7mm in depth - the Galaxy Note 3 is 79.2 x 8.3mm.
The 5.5 inch model is rumored to be called the iPhone Air, so it makes sense that it would be exceedingly slim.
These super slim dimensions have been given a little more firepower as we've now had multiple sources claiming to have case designs and schematics for the new iPhone 6, showing off designs similar to the iPad Air and Mini 2.
The most recent shows the iPhone 6 actually running iOS 8 - it's not clear if this is a final version, but it is swiped from Foxconn apparently.
But how will the iPhone actually look? Well it's going to be rounded, larger (of course) and with lines running over the top and bottom sections, presumably to improve reception and overall connectivity, as we saw in early assembly snaps.
Compared to the iPhone 5S, it's taking design cues from the iPad Air andMini 2 - that's something we think would be a great idea, as those both have a great feel in the hand.
Aside from the change in size and shape the other visible difference is that the power button has been moved to the side of the handset, as it's going to be larger and hitting the top will be tricky. The rear of the phone will have a slightly protruding camera as Apple tries to keep things thin but pack in slightly more camera tech to keep pictures looking great.
This is seen in both the TMZ leak (as a final unit, apparently) and in components found by nowhereelse.fr. The two tone flash, which gives great colour but was an odd oblong last time out, has been made circular to fit with the more rounded finish of the phone, it seems.
A set of dummy images from 9to5Mac, show the new handset in gold, silver and grey and they more or less match the previous ones, with a rounded design and a power button on the side.
One of the big clues about how the new iPhone 6 will look is from Taiwanese actor Jimmy Lin, who posted a photo of himself holding an iPhone 5S and what he claims is an iPhone 6.
Why is this significant? Well Lin posted pictures of the iPhone 5C ahead of its launch last year, so it looks like he may have repeated the trick in 2014.
Mr Lin may also have the larger 5.5-inch iPhone 6 (or at least a mockup unit) in his possession, after he posted another photo online which a big looking iPhone sitting on a work bench.
The same design keeps popping up in the leaked photo, and surely this isn't coincidence as even more images along the same design lines pop up from Sonny Dickson - again claiming to show the iPhone 6.
Sonny Dickson has gone one further though after getting his hands on mockups of two sizes of iPhone 6 handsets, giving the clearest look yet at the probably final designs.
Apparently the iPhone 6 has also been snapped alongside the iPad Air 2 and the iPad Mini 3, all three of which are showing off their TouchID sensors as well.
A larger body housing a larger screen would mean there would be some additional space which a larger power pack could accommodate, and we've even spotted an image claiming to show the iPhone 6 battery on the production line.
In other areas, patents show that Apple has been thinking about magical morphing technology that can hide sensors and even cameras. Will it make it into the iPhone 6? Probably not.
And one final nugget to chew over before you head into the wonderful world of whether the iPhone 6 will have a sapphire screen: will Apple be launching a more premium version later in the year with that harder, less breakable sapphire display to satisfy those that want the best iPhone whatever the cost?
Seems unlikely to us, but Wall Street Journal reckons it's highly possible.