iPhone 6

iPhone 6 casing

It's been suggested that there could even be three size variants of the new iPhone - check out these mocked up images by artist Peter Zigich, and that makes sense seeing as the iPhone 5C will need a sequel.

He calls the handsets iPhone 6 Mini, iPhone 6 & iPhone 6 XL (these look rather like the iPhone 5C variant though).

However, as ZDNet rightly points out, different size variants aren't exactly easy to just magic out of thin air.

"If the iPhone 6 doesn't have a Liquidmetal body, then we'll probably never see one."

You can expect more premium metal to come your way with the iPhone 6 too, 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.

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.

iPhone 6 - LEAK
Credit: C-Tech

Apple has now been officially granted a patent for a flexible, curved handset design which sports a screen which wraps round the sides of the device.

It's highly unlikely that the iPhone 6 will bear the fruits of this patent, as we expect the technology is still a few years off coming to market - but it could just be the curve ball Apple is looking for to inject the iPhone range with.

The future of the iPhone, just not this year (credit: USPTO)

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 5.7-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.

These super slim dimensions have been given a little more fire power as photos supposedly showing off the design of the iPhone 6 reveals a slender smartphone.

iPhone 6 - LEAK
The super slim iPhone 6? (credit: Weibo)

The bezel might get smaller too, as KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo suspects there'll be a 10-20% reduction in the width of the bezel.

An unbreakable display

Here's an interesting one: Apple looks like it's signed a big deal to use a lot of sapphire glass in its phones, with the company buying up the technology to use the super-hard technology for its displays.

Sapphire is already used by the Cupertino brand for its TouchID sensor cover and the camera glass, so extending it out makes a lot of sense. Whether it will be cost effective remains to be seen - but given iPhones are one of the top device for broken screen repair, reducing this problem would go down nicely.

However, there's an issue here: it's really expensive, and as such seems like it would bump up the cost of the phone too much for Apple, even though its customer base expects to pay a premium.

Canonical's CEO thinks that the Cupertino firm has been buying up swathes of the material - could this be for the iWatch? Seems more likely than an entire phone screen.

Apple even has a patent for an oleophobic (anti-smudge) coating that works on sapphire crystal to ensure the surface doesn't get covered in grubby fingerprints - exactly what you need if you're going to cover the front of a phone with it.

And it could even self heal, with Apple trying to patent a special screen coating that could heal to dramatically enhance the appearance of the iPhone 6, as well as other Apple products.

And what's this? NFC in an iPhone? About time too. Well, that's what iDownloadblog reckons, quoting Jefferies analyst Peter Misek. He's not the only analyst tossing his hat into the iPhone 6 NFC ring, with Ming-Chi Kuo also supporting the theory.

Many Android phones now boast NFC and Apple appears to have been happy to be left behind here, so we can't see it suddenly rocking the contactless technology when it appears to be on the wane.

And what about a bit more space to sling our content? We've already seen a 128GB iPad, so why not a 128GB iPhone 6? Yes, it'll cost a fortune, but high-spending early adopters love this stuff.

It could save your life - with iOS 8

With iOS 7 heading out of the traps now, who's betting against the next iPhone coming with iOS 8?

We'd expect a September or October release date for iOS 8 in line with previous releases - although it's likely we'll see what the new software will entail from June this year.

And owning one could definitely make you healthier, as Apple has apparently met with the FDA, according to the New York Times, to chat about the increased health-tracking software it will use in iOS 8. This will very likely be in association with the iWatch, which should debut at the same time as the new platform.

However, the new iPhone will need to be a posterchild for the technology too, so the news that it will apparently come with an array of sensors to monitor your health and environment, allowing you to trackyour prescriptions and monitoring your health levels, we very much expect Apple to bring its new handset to the healthy fore as well.

iPhone 6 processor and RAM

Not a huge surprise, this one: the next processor one will be a quad-core A8 or an evolved A7. The big sell here is more power with better efficiency, which should help battery life.

Anyone hoping for some juicy Samsung technology hidden under the iPhone 6 body will be disappointed though, as reports suggest Apple is looking to push its Korean rival further out of the iPhone picture with its eighth-gen handset.

Apple is apparently cutting the amount of A8 processors it is having made by Samsung, although it hasn't severed ties completely just yet.

There's not been much word on how much RAM the iPhone 6 will come with, but KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo reckons it will have 1GB, just like the iPhone 5 and iPhone 5S before it.