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iPhone 6 rumor rollup for the week ending Feb. 7

John Cox | Feb. 10, 2014
A "new rumor" in the iOSphere is almost a contradiction in terms. More typically, a current rumor regurgitates an earlier rumor and, paradoxically, gets additional not less credibility for doing so.

Via, Slivka helpfully provides a link to a PDF of the actual KDB Note To Investors (which is a first in the Rollup's experience). But it's in Korean, of course, so in the end it's not so helpful after all.

Slivka picks out several problematic details. One is KDB's claim that the new iPhone displays will use indium gallium zinc oxide (IGZO) technology (long-rumored) instead of the low-temperature polysilicon (LTPS) technology in current iPhones.

"IGZO is starting to gain popularity in larger devices such as tablets due to technical limitations with creating LTPS displays at those sizes, but LTPS remains the preferred technology for many high-end smartphones," Slivka writes.

He, too, casts doubt on the prospect of iOS 7.2, calling it a "questionable claim" in light of the fact that "iOS 8 has been observed in web logs and other sources, but there has been no evidence yet of Apple working on an iOS 7.2."

iPhone 6 will have special health/fitness feature via iOS 8
This is, admittedly, a bit of stretch for The Rollup, since it hinges at least in part on the mythical iWatch.  

9to5Mac's Mark Gurman reported recently that "Apple currently plans to release a new version of the iPhone operating system this year with health and fitness tracking integration as its headline feature, according to sources briefed on the plans."

According to Gurman, "Apple's work on such an operating system likely indicates that Apple is nearing the introduction of its long-awaited, sensor-laden iWatch'...."

It's somewhat unclear from Gurman's post whether he considers "iOS 8" to be something specific to the so-called iWatch or whether it's the next release of the phone/tablet firmware, of which a subset will be loaded into iWatch.

"Apple plans for iOS 8 to include an application codenamed Healthbook.' The software will be capable of monitoring and storing fitness statistics such as steps taken, calories burned, and miles walked. Furthermore, the app will have the ability to manage and track weight loss."

A pre-installed Healthbook capability would be, as Gurman notes, analogous to Apple's Passbook, which can store a variety of digital documents such as loyalty cards, tickets, receipts and the like. Such an app would suggest that it's part of the phone/tablet operating system, receiving data via Bluetooth from the iWatch (or other third-party Bluetooth devices focused on health and fitness applications), which would have either a subset of iOS or a software layer for connecting to an iPhone and sending compatible data into Healthbook.

But there's more. "Besides fitness tracking, a marquee feature of Healthbook' will be the ability to monitor a user's vital signs," Gurman writes. "The application will be able to track a person's blood pressure, hydration levels, heart rate, and potentially several other blood-related data points, such as glucose levels, according to our sources."


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