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iPhone 6 rumor rollup for the week ending Jan. 24

John Cox | Jan. 27, 2014
Picture a cow chewing its cud. Then picture it chewing its cud while on amphetamines, and you get an idea of the iOSphere during the past week.

The Journal's unnamed sources say that Apple is developing one phone with a screen "larger than 4½ inches measured diagonally, and a second version with a display bigger than 5 inches." The phones are "expected in the second half" of 2014.

Then there's this: "The smaller of the two models is further along in development, and is being prepared for mass production, the people said. The larger-screen version is still in preliminary development, they said."

Apple is a model of supply chain efficiency but, to The Rollup, it seems a big of a stretch to infer that a smartphone model that is currently "still in preliminary development" is going to be ready for mass production by late summer or fall 2014.

Time's Harry McCracken, commenting on the Journal story, raised the issue of how Apple will address OS and application sizing with possibly three different screen sizes. "What's tricky is rejiggering iOS to accommodate a new screen size," he writes. "(Unlike Android, iOS isn't designed to fluidly reconfigure itself for whatever screen size it finds itself on.)" If Apple goes with larger screens, he thinks that "Apple will make significant adjustments to iOS to deal with new resolutions" and those adjustments are likely to be revealed at the June 2013 Apple Worldwide Developers Conference.

It's not clear to The Rollup that Apple would have to make "significant adjustments" in iOS, if the term refers to rewriting a lot of code. Assuming iOS uses a modular architecture, it may be possible for Apple to "unplug" the chunk of code dealing with resolution and replace it with one that can dynamically adjust to different size iPhone screens, though that is undoubtedly oversimplifying the decisions Apple has to make in increasing the screen's size and presumably resolution and pixel density.

Presumably, app developers then get a tweaked interface to use, though at least some apps may have to be at least partly rewritten to make proper use of different screen sizes.

iPhone 6 parts appear in Youtube video. Oh...wait...
There was a tremor in the iOSphere for a few hours Friday morning when a YouTube video appeared (we're not posting a link to it, you can search the site for "MrVoolp" to find it) which claimed to be "iphone 6 parts!!!. This video was filmed at the Apple Factory."

Some were dazzled. At TechieNews, Abhishek Gohel burbled that "The video shows off a unibody-constructed smartphone shell, which is claimed to be of iPhone 6."

Despite the graininess and blur, Gohel was able to discern Very Important Features. "The shell is of a larger form factor and seems to be made from Liquidmetal," he declared, though how he would know it's Liquidmetal isn't explained. "Further, the shell seems to be taller and in line with latest reports of a larger screened iPhone 6."


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