Just what does Apple have in store for us? Only the Cupertino giant will be able to tell us for sure, but if past events are anything to go by - then a significant proportion of the innumerable iPhone 6 leaks should be right on the mark, giving us a fair idea of just what to expect.
First and foremost - Apple is said to have finally heard the global criticism of its insistence on making ergonomically-sized smartphones with miniscule (by today's standards) displays. While the iPhone 5s came with a 4-inch display, the next iPhone has long been rumoured to come in two display size variants - 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch - helping Apple compete in a smartphone market that is seeing a converged devices trend, with users wanting the best of the smartphone and tablet worlds in a single device.
Just what will these two expected display size variants of the iPhone be called? The rumour mill has some suggestions. The smaller, 4.7-inch iPhone is expected to be called the iPhone 6, while the larger 5.5-inch iPhone is expected to be called either the iPhone 6L, or the iPhone Air. The most recent rumours however, indicate the larger new iPhone will be called the iPhone 6 Plus.Apart from just an increase in size, Apple is also expected to introduce higher resolution displays, with the most recent reports pointing to the company using displays with a resolution of 828x1472 pixels for both the 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch iPhone 6 models. While more weight is being given to the report that both models will feature the same resolution (translating to a pixel density of 359ppi for the 4.7-inch display, and 307ppi for the 5.5-inch display), it is possible Apple will use a higher screen resolution of 960x1704 pixels on the 5.5-inch model (356ppi).
Alongside larger and higher-resolution displays, numerous leaks agree on a new design philosophy for the next-generation iPhone models - one that is inspired by the fourth-generation iPod touch and its curved design. Unlike the straight edged design of the iPhone 5 and 5s, Apple is said to be using a slim, curved edge design for the iPhone 6, with ellipsoidal instead of circular volume buttons on the left side alongside the mute switch, and a power button on the right side.
The iPhone 6 design is said to feature its camera and LED flash sitting right on top, with a protruding camera ring that protects the camera's lens and may allow for OIS. An improved and more durable Touch ID sensor, made by TSMC, is expected to be included.
The iPhone 6 is expected to bear the Apple A8 SoC, however not much is known about this. Reports have been pointing to TSMC as the manufacturer for these chips, with Apple said to be doing away with Samsung as a chip vendor. Other reports however maintain that both TSMC and Samsung will be producing the A8 chips, with the former handling 60-70 percent of the manufacturing. The new chip is expected to be fabricated on the 20nm process node, compared to the 28nm process on the Apple A7. Of course, as introduced on the A7, Apple will continue with 64-bit architecture on the Apple A8.
Alongside the Apple A8 SoC, the Cupertino giant has been rumoured to be using 1GB of RAM alongside. While this will not be confirmed until after a hardware review site tears down the iPhone 6, it seems like the minimum Apple could use to compete with modern day Android smartphones - though of course, Apple in the past has proved hardware enthusiasts wrong, managing with meagre specs to deliver top-end performance.
Further on the hardware side of things, the iPhone 6 is expected to finally bring NFC (near field communications) connectivity, apart from supporting Wi-Fi 802.11ac. While NFC is not expected to power sharing or device connectivity features (as it does on modern Android smartphones), Apple is expected to introduce its anticipated mobile payments and wallet system, one that should also tie in with the Touch ID sensor for biometric authentication, and the anticipated iWatch for ease of use. Lastly, the iPhone 6 is also expected to be the first generation to introduce a 128GB storage variant.
The 4.7-inch iPhone 6 is rumoured to ship with a 2100mAh battery, while the larger 5.5-inch iPhone 6 is expected to feature a 2500mAh battery. More recent reports however point to the 4.7-inch model featuring a 1810mAh battery, and the larger model a 2915mAh battery.
Coming to the software side of things, the next iPhone will ship with iOS 8 - the company's latest version of its mobile and tablet operating system, which was unveiled at WWDC this year. While many of the new features the new OS will bring are already known (such as HealthKit and HomeKit integration; third-party keyboards and Touch ID-based applications; improved iMessage and Siri features; continuity features with OS X Yosemite, and iCloud Photo Library), some are only rumoured.
Most recently, the larger 5.5-inch iPhone 6 model was reported to arrive with functionality that lets certain apps be used in landscape mode - similar to the iPad interface for improved productivity - truly taking advantage of the increased visual real estate.
Apple has been for a while rumoured to include new split-screen multitasking feature in the next-generation of iPad tablets, which are expected to be launched at a separate event at the end of September, or in early October.
Coming to perhaps the most important aspect of any smartphone's launch - price. The reports are ambiguous thus far, with some tipping the iPhone 6 will in effect cost less than the last generation iPhone 5s, the most recent reports tip the smartphones will be a fair bit more expensive. Some industry watchers expect the larger 5.5-inch iPhone 6 to cost $100 more than the 4.7-inch iPhone 6, taking the price to a new extreme - past the $1,000 mark unlocked.
Reports have been tipping that both models of Apple's next iPhone would hit shelves on September 19, the traditional 10 days after the unveiling of the smartphone. However, new reports tip that while Apple will be launching the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 alongside the 4.7-inch model, the former will only be available in limited quantities at launch.
The company is also expected to introduce its first smartwatch, much-anticipated to be called the iWatch, at its September 9 event. The iWatch is expected to arrive in two size variants, both featuring flexible displays, and help power the health and location-based functions. While the release of the smartwatch is rumoured to be set for early 2015, the company's unveiling will give developers time to make apps for the new wearable device - with the latest rumours pointing to the iWatch supporting third-party apps and boasting of App Store access. An early version of the Apple SDK with iWatch APIs is said to also already have been shared with top firms, such as Facebook, for the iWatch demonstration on Tuesday.
Stay tuned to this page, as we bring you the latest rumours and leaks about the new iPhone 6 right up to its launch on Tuesday.
Update 1: The latest reports corroborate the iPhone 6 (for 4.7-inch model) and iPhone 6 Plus (for 5.5-inch model) naming scheme, and also point to two contradictory sets of new specifications for the smaller model. One set indicates the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 will feature a quad-core Apple A8, 8-megapixel rear camera; 2.1-megapixel front camera; feature four storage variants - 16GB, 32GB, 64GB, and 128GB; a 750x1134 pixels display with sapphire glass, Nano-SIM support; dust-proof and waterproof ratings, and Black, Gold, and White colours.