Apple has become a mobile first, everything else is secondary company. The iPhone alone represents over 60% of Apple's revenues, and CEO Tim Cook has a laser sharp focus on dominating the mobile segment with iPhones and iPads, and perhaps soon, wearable gear. The iPhone 5S is Apple's latest mobile salvo, containing a host of new technologies inside and out. Apple has again separated itself from the rest of the pack, but the iPhone 5S is only a taste of what is to come from Cupertino.
The iPhone 5S put in motion technologies that have yet to come to market maturity, but they will be fully realized within the iPhone 6, but Apple has left some big clues on the table revealing what is to come:
Larger Screen: iOS 7 is a brilliant design in some areas, yet curious in others. One theme that is constantly utilized in the OS design is the idea of small icons. I find it odd that no one has complained, or perhaps even noticed, the amazingly small icon's used to close a web search, close a web page, or scroll through a song. iOS is filled with so many tiny interface controls it makes Steve Jobs comments of filing fingers to a point in order to use small 7" tablets seem almost absurd when looking at Apple's new mobile interface. To assume this interface is based upon Apple's sights set on a larger next generation mobile display seems a given. Using iOS 7 flows amazingly well on an iPad or iPad mini, thus 4.7" range iPhone display appears to be the perfect fit for the new iOS interface.
Liquid Metal: Rumors have surfaced about the technology for years, but Apple has little to show for its in-house design work. That will change significantly with the iPhone 6, having the entire back and sides cast in liquid metal. Liquid metal's ability to disperse heat, while maintaining strength in thin and lightweight forms in unparalleled. If any smartphone company can deliver a large format display size, while setting it within an amazingly lightweight and thin package, it would be Apple.
Touch ID: Apple's been laying down patent tracks, showing how Apple's fingerprint technology could work in conjunction with Near Field Communication (NFC) technologies. However, Apple is highly unlikely to adopt NFC, due to their own in-house iBeacon technology, quietly released in iOS 7. iBeacon is Apple's own stack of communication software running on Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). Apple has made narry a peep about iBeacon, nor made mention that they ship BLE in every portable device it now sells. The result of Touch ID with iBeacon running on BLE completes the foundation to deliver the ultimate iWallet experience. While this technology could be pushed with iPhone 5S, Apple has a lot of fine tuning and security issues to work through, but the stars are lining up well for the virtual wallet to be Apple's main technology and marketing push with the iPhone 6.
The iPhone 6 is a at least year away, but the stepping stones of its technology are already here: some of it deployed, and other industry firsts waiting quietly for Apple to launch next fall. Like most everything Apple creates, the key to iPhone 6 is greater than the sum of its parts. iPhone 5S has left Android handset makers scrambling to develop gimmick technologies. But iPhone 6 is aiming to bury the competition with useful, easy-to-use - yet powerful features - that your phone, wallet and hands have never had before.