The iPhone 6 Release Date Is No Longer A Secret, And Rumors Are A-Flying

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Mark your calendars, folks, because Sept. 9 is going to be a big day. On Thursday, Apple sent out invites for a press event in Cupertino, California. And even though they’re keeping the reason for the press event very hushed, we all pretty much know what this means: Apple's iPhone 6 is just around the corner.

Are there clues, you ask? Too many to ignore: Apple released its iPhone 5s and 5c a year ago this September. The company has added at least one new smartphone to its line every year since 2007, and has debuted the new phones in the fall since 2011. Technology analysts are expecting this to be Apple’s biggest launch ever—and they aren’t just referring to the latest model’s screen size. According to The Wall Street Journal, Apple asked suppliers to produce 70-80 million units by Dec. 30, 2014, in what’s becoming the company’s largest iPhone production run, ever. That’s a lot of phones.

The stars have aligned for a new iPhone to emerge, and here’s hoping it’s bigger and better than ever. Here’s what we’re expecting from the glorious (we hope) iPhone 6...

Larger, thinner, more durable screens

Rumors are circling about the two iPhone 6 models’ 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch screens, which will have a thinner, lighter framework reminiscent of the earlier iPod touch models. If the iPhone 6 features a bigger, thinner screen, you can assume it’s because Apple wants to compete with the Galaxy Note 4, Samsung’s latest phone-tablet hybrid that’s scheduled to debut Sept. 3.

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As an added bonus, a VentureBeat source claims that the iPhone 6 screens will be made of ultra-durable sapphire glass. Say goodbye to your cracked screens for good!

Newer, faster processor

The new iPhone 6 will reportedly feature an Apple-designed A8 processor chip, which will be much faster than the A7 model it replaces. This means a faster response time and better graphics rendering.

Beats Synchronization

To continue the Apple and Beats love affair, the new iPhone 6 will supposedly have a special chip that recognizes Beats headphones and react only when Beats are plugged into the device. When activated, the chip will enhance the audio quality to accommodate the Beats.

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Speedier Wi-Fi

So you can read your favorite news app, check your email, and download that video of the sneezing panda even faster.

Better fingerprint reader

Have a love-hate relationship with your iPhone 5s fingerprint scanner? Good news: Your iPhone 6 will be a little better at recognizing you. The iPhone 6 has reportedly made some minor tweaks on its fingerprint reading technology to improve your phone’s security while minimizing false rejections.

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Better Photos

This one is pretty self-explanatory, and every iPhone upgrade since the original model has sported a fancier camera with more pixels, better zoom features and more advanced editing technology. The iPhone 6 upgrade will supposedly include optical image stabilization (OIS), which steadies photos and videos with a special sensor. Perfect if you’re trying to snap a picture while on the go, or if you just have shaky hands.

Regardless, it’s pretty much expected that we’re going to filter all of our party pictures, abroad landscape shots, and drool-worthy food shots through Instagram or VSCO CAM anyway, so this one isn’t as exciting as some of the other improvements.

Special Bonus: A Wearable Device?

Apple might make it debut into the wearable market on Sept. 9 as well, though no one has confirmed that it’ll come in the form of the highly anticipated “iWatch.” If you don’t hear anything about the wearable on Sept. 9, however, don’t panic. Apple typically rolls out its non-smartphone products — that is, iPads and Mac computers — in October, so there’s hope yet for a 2014 wearable device launch.