updated 12:42 pm EDT, Mon July 7, 2014
Supposed battery changes would still lag behind rival devices
Two new leaks have emerged regarding next-generation iPhones, beginning with a video (below) showing an alleged cover panel using sapphire glass. While Apple has partnered with GT Advanced on major sapphire production efforts, it has been highly disputed whether or not that sapphire will be used in displays or simply for smaller components like cameras and Touch ID sensors. Apple could alternately use sapphire in the 5.5-inch iPhone but not the 4.7-inch one, or vice versa.
Sapphire would be an ideal choice for cover glass, since it would allow Apple to make more durable displays even with thinner protective layers. The main issues are cost and scaling up production, since the material is relatively rare and therefore expensive.
Apple is meanwhile said to be planning just modest battery improvements to both the 4.7- and 5.5-inch iPhone models, despite their sizes. It's claimed that the former -- usually known as the iPhone 6 -- will get an 1,800mAh battery, while the latter will get 2,500mAh. Those are 15 and 60 percent increases over the iPhone 5s, respectively, but will likely be offset by extra power consumption and still slot the products below rival devices. The 4.7-inch Moto X has a 2,200mAh battery; the 5.7-inch Galaxy Note 3 is rated at 3,200mAh.
Apple may be able to compensate to a degree. Because it uses integrated and optimized designs, including custom processors, past iPhones have had better battery life than would be suggested by their capacities.