The iPhone 6 And The Rising Curve Of Credible Concepts

Apr 26 2014, 1:38pm CDT | by

A video released this week by Inbox Therapy provided the best sense of scale yet for the rumored 4.7 inch iPhone 6. The maker of the video, Lewis Hilsenteger, credited Apple blogger Sonny Dickson with locating the “leaked” case design in which his prop was based. A little additional research confirmed my guess that the origin of the hot pink silicone case was in fact a booth at the recent Hong Kong Electronics Fair.

Nobody thought that the case came directly from a Foxconn factory, so the critical question is really about how accurate is the geometry of the mold that the case is based on. A look through the iPhone 6 posts on Steve Hemmerstoffer’s French-language NowhereElse.fr blog suggests the provenance of the case as well as the origin of the engineering sketch that its geometry was based on. Hemmerstoffer asked Dutch 3D designer Martin Hajek to make a rendered version of the iPhone 6 (see below.)

Before discussing Hajek and his iPhone concept designs, it is worth explaining some detail about how the “leaking” process works with Apple products. Very little if any of the information that we see in the tech press is actually leaked directly from Apple or its direct manufacturers (Foxconn, etc.) Almost all of it comes through the “supply chain” to bloggers and financial analysts. In some cases, for instance sapphire crystal maker GT-Advanced’s projection of 2H2014 revenues, publicly released information from a supplier tips about the timing of an upcoming iPhone. Most of the time, though, the details about the dimensions and specific feature geometry of new iPhone models, as in the present case, come from the hive of accessory suppliers clustered around Apple’s actual manufacturers.

null How case manufacturers get their “inside” information is not clear,null . Even with Google Translate it seems to take time for Chinese-language information to percolate out into the largely English-speaking tech audience that follows Apple products. And without understanding the nuance, not just of Chinese but of specific technical vocabulary, it is not always clear exactly what is being said by Asian news sources. Many false rumors arise from guesses about the intended relationships between named entities. As with all text analysis, it is far easier to account for the “big words” than to pin down the exact meaning intended by all of the little “and”s, “if”s, “but”s and “or”s.

The image above is by Martin Hajek based on the sketch and case referenced above from the Japanese MacFan magazine. It looks identical to the case used in the Unbox Therapy video I wrote about earlier in the week. Although Hilsenteger’s hands-on approach is great for intuitively understanding the implications of scale, Hajek’s renders really help you visualize what the iPhone 6 might really look like. null

Above is Hajek’s extrapolation based on the MacFan sketch of what the eventual iPhone line would look like, from the 4 inch iPhone 5s to the 4.7 inch iPhone 6 to the phablet-sized 5.5 inch iPhone. Most accounts point to this largest model not being available until the end of this year, if then. What it will be called is also a question. iPhone Plus, perhaps?

null Another rumor from Macotakara, the Japanese publisher of MacFan and the origin of most of the current iPhone 6 intelligence, is that Apple will use a process similar to the Squair Curvacious Bumper on its new iPhone. Taking this to its logical conclusion in combination with recent advances in curved glass screens, Hajek designed a version of the iPhone 6 with rounded glass edges that seamlessly runs into the side bumpers. The image above compares this approach to the current iPhone 5s.

What’s clear to me from these images is that they don’t really look like an Apple design solution. “This way the 4.7″ version can be made a whopping 4mm narrower,” Hajek explains, “looks like a nicer fit to the hand!” Yes, it would probably feel smooth in the hand like a polished pebble, but it looks rather cartoonish. Even though sapphire is much much tougher than Gorilla Glass (apparently sapphire’s un-scratchability is the key to its un-breakability) the curved glass edge feels exposed. The bigger problem may be that the curved edges of the screen will distort images or video and lead to a narrower (or shallower, depending on orientation) addressable screen area. The HD proportion of contemporary smartphones is already very extreme for many applications, and this would accentuate the contrast between the two dimensions.

The important point here is that the correlation between rumors and eventual product is clearly increasing from this point on, but that doesn’t mean that erroneous information will be automatically screened out. Apple’s designers and engineers and their manufacturing partners on the one side, and the legions of third-party manufacturers, bloggers, analysts and fantasy prototypers (#AFPL) on the other, are on a convergent course.null  It is an echo chamber, yes, but also a mind. There is intelligence there, if you know how to see it.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

To keep up with Quantum of Content, please subscribe to my updates on Facebook, follow me on Twitter and App.net or add me on Google+.

 
 

Don't miss ...

 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/30" rel="author">Forbes</a>
Forbes is among the most trusted resources for the world's business and investment leaders, providing them the uncompromising commentary, concise analysis, relevant tools and real-time reporting they need to succeed at work, profit from investing and have fun with the rewards of winning.

 

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

How birds learnt to fly
New York, Aug 29 (IANS) Birds have an innate ability to maneuver in mid-air, a talent that could have helped their ancestors learn to fly rather than fall from a perch, says a study.
 
 
Millions of mites crawling on your face right now!
New York, Aug 29 (IANS) Are you aware that your face is brimming with living mites that feed on the oil our skin secretes and hide in tiny hair follicles? And no, they are not pooping on you as they store up all the excreta until they die!
 
 
New tool maps how drug abuse affects brain
Washington, Aug 29 (IANS) In a first, researchers have developed a laser-based imaging tool to map how drug abuse disrupts blood flow to the brain.
 
 
Nasal cells can repair knee defects
London, Aug 29 (IANS) In a breakthrough, researchers at the University of Basel in Switzerland have found that cells taken from the nasal septum are able to adapt to the environment of the knee joint and can repair articular cartilage defects.
 
 
 

Latest from the Network

Colombia recalls Falcao for Brazil friendly
Rio de Janeiro, Aug 30 (IANS) Colombia coach Jose Pekerman has recalled Radamel Falcao for his team's international friendly against Brazil next week. "I am very happy to have Falcao back and fully recovered. We will...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Chrysler to recall cars in China
Beijing, Aug 30 (IANS) The Chinese subsidiary of Chrysler will recall cars on the Chinese mainland over flaws that may lead to fires, the country's quality watchdog has said. It will involve 25,505 imported Grand...
Read more on Business Balla
 
Four gen-next Indian-origin economists in IMF list of 25
Washington, Aug 30 (IANS) Four economists of Indian origin have been featured in in the International Monetary Fund's (IMF) list of 25 economists under 45 who are shaping the way one thinks about the global economy...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Spanish La Liga standings
Madrid, Aug 30 (IANS) Following are the standings of Spanish La Liga after Friday's matches (tabulated under matches played, won, drawn, lost, goals for, goals against, points), according to Xinhua. Valencia...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Portuguese league standings
Lisbon, Aug 30 (IANS) Following are the standings of Portuguese league after Friday's match (tabulated under matches played, won, drawn, lost, goals for, goals against, points), according to Xinhua. Rio Ave...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Nick Cannon prefers 'strong' women
Los Angeles, Aug 30 (IANS) Actor-rapper Nick Cannon, who has recently separated from wife Mariah Carey, prefers to be with women who know exactly what they want. Whether he is ready to move on or not, is still unknown...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Fugitive Colombian warlord nabbed in Panama
Bogota, Aug 30 (IANS/EFE) A former rightist militia chief convicted in absentia for his role in massacres has been arrested in Panama, Colombian police said Friday. Colombian police informed Panamanian counterparts...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Brazil's Gremio bans five fans over racist abuse
Rio De Janneiro, Aug 30 (IANS) Brazilian club Gremio have banned its five fans from attending home matches after they were found to be involved in racially abusing a player. Santos goalkeeper Aranha was racially...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
44 detained UN peacekeepers safe: UN
United Nations, Aug 30 (IANS) The 44 UN peacekeepers detained Thursday by militants in the Golan Heights are "safe and in good health", a UN spokesman said late Friday. "The United Nations has received assurances from...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Jessica Chastain demands a female superhero movie
Los Angeles, Aug 30 (IANS) Actress Jessica Chastain demands a female superhero movie, which should have Scarlett Johansson in the lead role. The acclaimed actress, who starred in the 2013 horror film "Mama", says...
Read more on Celebrity Balla