iPhone 6 rumour roundup: what to expect from Apple's next smartphone

Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) is next week, and rumours are flying fast about what the next iPhone is going to be like. It’s been nearly nine months since the iPhone 5 launched, and consumers are starting to get antsy. Even if we don’t get any substantial information directly from Apple at its keynote next Monday, parts are starting to leak out, and industry speculation is going wild.

The golden iPhone

Pictures have recently surfaced of parts that suggest we could see a gold-trimmed iPhone in the near future. The iPhone has long been relegated to black, white, and silver in terms of colour options, but other product lines (like the iPod touch) have seen a wide variety of colour options introduced.

If these parts are legit, this could be the start of a line of all-new iPhone colours. Personally, I’m holding out for a purple iPhone with silver trim for the Saints Row IV launch.

128GB iPhones

Earlier this year, Apple added a 128GB version of the iPad to its line-up, and this has led many to believe that the launch of a 128GB version of the iPhone is inevitable.

Realistically, it’s quite likely, but there isn’t a big rush to offer it immediately. Now that music, movies, and photos all live in the cloud, local storage just isn’t as important.

Steve Jobs had a hand in the next iPhone

Earlier last year, San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón let slip that he had been informed that the next two iPhones have already been designed, and “they preceded Tim Cook.” While Apple’s founder has been gone since the end of 2011, it seems as if his mark may still be on the iPhone for years to come. Perhaps a new Jobs-inspired iPhone can help save the company’s lacklustre stock price.

Jonny Ive is flattening the user interface

Much fuss has been made about Apple’s previous dalliances with skeuomorphism – making iOS apps look and function like real-world objects. Last year, Apple lost Scott Forstall (Senior Vice President of iOS) in an executive shake-up. Since he was supposedly one of the biggest proponents within Apple for skeuomorphism, it’s a pretty safe bet that we’ll see less of it going forward. Jonny Ive, now in charge of the design of iOS, is rumoured to be flattening everything like Windows 8. It would be ridiculous to assume that Apple will just mimic Microsoft’s Metro aesthetic, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see a radical shift away from previous UI trends.

The low-end iPhone

There have been rumours about a low-end “iPhone mini” since the original iPhone launched in 2007, and they haven’t slowed down a bit. The most recent rumour has a curved plastic-backed iPhone mini launching alongside the next iPhone revision, and these blurry snapshots from China are stoking the flames. The iPhone featured a plastic back circa 2008, but this is probably nothing more than a case or an iPhone knock-off. Even if Apple is making an “iPhone mini,” it probably won’t go out of its way to make the handset look like an old iPhone.

Apple’s adding AirDrop to the iPhone

Apple introduced AirDrop on Macs in 2011 with the launch of Mac OS X 10.7 Lion. This ad-hoc Wi-Fi feature allows two Macs to trade files without needing to connect to the same network, and it’s quite useful for swapping PowerPoint decks or pictures while you’re at a conference or meeting up with a friend. Now, 9to5Mac is reporting that Apple will add this same functionality to the iPhone when it ships iOS 7 later this year. The idea of trading files with friends via a simple tap is certainly a smart one.

We’ll be covering WWDC in-depth starting next week, so check back soon for all the juicy details about iPhones, iPads, and iOS.

Image Credits: Weibo, Matt Yohe