Apple's next iPhone could offer faster Web connectivity and better battery life, all thanks to one component, according to a new report.
The handset, which is rumored to be called the iPhone 6S, will launch with a Qualcomm-developed chip known as the MDM9635M, 9to5Mac is reporting, citing a person who claims to have knowledge of Apple's plans. The chip, which was introduced by Qualcomm in 2013 but didn't go into production until last year, is capable of accommodating theoretical download speeds of 300Mbps on carrier long-term evolution (LTE) networks -- double the 150Mbps speeds available to the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.
The iPhone is a critical component in Apple's massive business. During the its last-reported quarter ended March 28, Apple revealed that it sold 61.2 million iPhones worldwide, generating $40.3 billion in revenue. Those figures were up 40 percent and 55 percent, respectively. Apple generated $58 billion in revenue during the period. Apple releases a new iPhone every year, and each successive launch offers improved specs and in some cases, new designs. And the launches tend to boost iPhone sales numbers, too.
The latest iPhone 6S rumors suggest that the device will launch in the fall around the same time as the worldwide availability of Apple's iOS 9 mobile operating system. A report that surfaced in June said that the iPhone 6S would have a design that looks similar to the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, but could be slightly thicker to accommodate a bigger battery. The handset will also reportedly launch with a new processor, presumably known as the A9, and the same screen sizes -- 4.7 inches and 5.5 inches -- available in the company's current models.
On Tuesday, 9to5Mac claimed to have obtained images of the upcoming iPhone. If those images are real, the device appears to corroborate the earlier rumors, featuring a nearly identical design to the iPhone 6 line and a handful of internal enhancements.
According to 9to5Mac, the addition of Qualcomm's higher-end LTE chip to the iPhone 6S would also enhance the device's battery life, since it has more power-efficiency than previous models. Exactly how much more battery life Apple could squeeze out of the chip, however, is unknown.
While the improved chip would supply the ability for faster download speeds, that doesn't mean users will actually realize such speeds. No matter the chip built into a handset, download speeds are governed by the speeds offered by the respective carrier. In the US, 300Mbps download speeds are hardly (if ever) achieved, though technically possible on Category 6 LTE networks, which the Qualcomm chip can connect to.
Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.