updated 04:37 pm EST, Wed January 22, 2014
Phone also expected to make jump to 802.11ac Wi-Fi
Apple has effectively "locked down" most of the design of the iPhone 6, claims Cowen and Company analyst Timothy Arcuri. He cites sources in Apple's supply chain, and contends that the phone will have a 4.8-inch display, making it more competitive with devices like the Samsung Galaxy S4 or the Moto X. He also suggests that Apple will upgrade to 802.11ac Wi-Fi, letting the device take advantage of modern Macs and routers, as well as gigabit Internet connections in regions that have them.
Arcuri suggests that Apple is also working on "key software innovations" for the next major release of iOS, and may exploit iBeacon, Touch ID, and Passbook technology in order to step into mobile payments. As for a release date, he expects the phone to debut in September, though sources tell him that a June launch is "not out of the question." Apple pursued June and July iPhone launches until the iPhone 4S, which shipped in October 2011. The iPhone 5, 5s, and 5c have all been September releases.
Display size is often one of the main complaints leveled at modern iPhones. While competitors are now regularly producing phones up to and above 5 inches, Apple has held fast at 4. The company has insisted, though, that it's more important to fit a device in one hand than provide more screen space.