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iPhone 6 rumor rollup for the week ending May 31

John Cox | June 3, 2013
Apple iPhone 6 rumors: Interpreting Tim, Gaze Detection, iOS 7 changes, Super Retina.

Here's how Asymco's Horace Dediu interprets Cooks comments.

On the question of different iPhone products: "The iPhone portfolio may still arrive. It hasn't so far because the cost/benefit is not there for Apple. On one hand it would take a great deal more sourcing effort and risk while dealing with constraints in production. On the other it would not offer meaningful additions to the customer base. At least so far. The economics and the demand may change (or have changed) and the time will come for a broader portfolio."

On the question of iPhone's difference from the iPod: "As a computer, the iPhone has a near infinite set of jobs to be done and it's the hundreds of thousands of apps which help it perform them. But as a result the iPhone needs to conform to the dynamics of ecosystems and that means consistency of APIs and user experience."

On the question of how the iPhone product line might be extended: "On the question of what the extension might be, changing screen size is one dimension but it has to be balanced by performance gains that don't detract from other dimensions. Engineering is all about compromise and consumers pay Apple to make these compromises in an intelligent way."

The other conclusion to draw is that Apple doesn't accept the "necessity" of larger-screened iPhones, or presumably of "cheaper" iPhones, based on sales of large-screened or cheaper devices by rivals, or on the presumption that "market share" is the sole or dominant criteria of the success of a given product.

iPhone 6 will have Gaze Detection Technology
A recently published Apple patent application, which is actually derived from an earlier one, is about Gaze Detection Technology or GDT. If you say "Gaze Detection Technology" in a hushed, reverent tone, it will be easier to believe this is a Really Big Deal.

The Eyeball Trolling websites, or "news aggregators," like NewsTribe and TheFullSignal, are the ones jamming "iPhone 6" into the iOSphere's coverage of this latest patent news.

PatentlyApple noted the publication, by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office, of the new application and summarized various details, without suggesting that we'll see this soon in the iPhone 5S or iPhone 6. One or more "gaze detection sensors" which apparently means a camera, is used to "see" when the user is looking at the display, or a specific portion of the display, or looking away.

That awareness would cue the smartphone (or tablet or laptop) to change its state "to determine an appropriate mode in which to operate the electronic device." If there's a video running, and you look away, the phone pauses the video and dims the screen, for example. You look back, and the screen brightens and the video continues. Apparently, according to PatentlyApple, this is intended as an advance in power management, because it automatically minimizes screen use, a big drain on the phone's battery.


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