Apple watchers looking for clues about iPhone 6 software have their eyes fixed on the company’s Cupertino, California headquarters like Vatican newspaper reporters waiting for the puff of white smoke over the Sistine Chapel that signals the selection of a new pope.
Specifically, the tech crowd has been watching recent download requests for various popular iPhone apps that seem to be coming from Apple. It looks like developers are checking the apps’ compatibility with the next generation iPhone – will it be iPhone 6 or 5S? – along with the anticipated new iOS 7. If Angry Birds is buggy with the company’s new smartphone and new iOS, it would drive Apple stock even lower.
Industry watchers have also taken note of changes among iPhone suppliers. Apple has reduced or totally cut its memory chip orders with Samsung and seems to be switching display providers from Samsung to Sharp as it gears up for its new iPhone release.
The release of the iPhone 6, expected as early as Spring 2013, isn’t the only reason Apple might want to lessen its dependency on Samsung. The two smartphone giants have been tossing more anti-trusts suits at each other in recent years than Muhammed Ali and Joe Frazier traded punches in Manila. One Chinese website claimed that Apple was set to begin trial production of the next iPhone in December 2012 with full production ramping up by the end of the first quarter of 2013.
Reuters reported that Apple cut its Samsung memory chip order for the new iPhone, including both flash memory chips and dynamic random access memory (DRAM) chips. However, at almost the same time, the Korea Economic Daily was telling a different story. That publication claimed that Apple had totally severed Samsung as a memory chip supplier for the upcoming iPhone.
Financial analysts have noted strong iPhone 5 sales, pushing its market share above 50 percent for the first time, according to Kantar Worldpanel. However, even in the first days of iPhone 5 sales, some smartphone aficionados were counseling buyers to hold off until the next release, which they felt would promise more innovations.
Patent watchers noted that Apple had filed paperwork on technologies like laser microphones and speakers, flexible displays, and tactile keyboards. Whether or not any of these appealing upgrades will be part of iPhone 6 is a total speculation for anyone outside of the Apple Corp. brain trust.
However, one big question about iPhone releases has finally been answered. Apple CEO Tim Cook confirmed that the “S” in iPhone 4S stands for Siri, the company’s voice recognition and control software. Since Siri is no longer a new innovation, that brings us back to the question of whether or not Apple will skip releasing an “iPhone 5S” and go straight to the iPhone 6.
Chris Turberville-Tully works with Dynistics, providing dashboard software whether it be for colleges & universities, financial institutions, or IT and telecom companies.