An eagle-eyed member of the MacRumors forum says the “Phosporus”component destined for the iPhone 6, leaked on Monday, isn’t a next-generation version of Apple’s M7 co-processor, but instead a barometric pressure sensor. It makes sense given the several rumors that have cropped up in recent months with word Apple plans a barometer used to measure atmospheric pressure in the iPhone 6.
“The chip pictured has the part number BMP282. I’m 99.99% sure this is a Bosch barometric pressure sensor, similar to this part BMP280,” MacRumors forum member leecbaker writes. “Variants of one part often have slightly different part numbers- if Apple got Bosch to customize the chip for them with different packaging, or a slightly different measurement range, that would explain the difference in part number.”
Apple has been known to special order parts through manufacturers, custom tailored to its iOS devices. Bosch says the BMP282 is commonly used for: enhancement of GPS navigation, indoor navigation (floor detection, elevator detection), outdoor navigation, leisure and sports applications, weather forecast, health care applications (e.g. spirometry), and vertical velocity indication (e.g. rise/sink speed).
In June, new APIs found in iOS 8 betas referenced altitude data. One API called “isRelativeAltitudeAvailable” tells apps if a device “supports reporting relative altitude changes” – perfect for a barometer sensor described on Monday. Furthermore Sun Chang Xu, news chief analyst at ESM-China, relayed in March that sources close to the matter have revealed the iPhone 6 will feature pressure, temperature and humidity sensors.
Apple is expected to announce the iPhone 6 at a media event on September 9. The iPhone 6 is rumored to come in both 4.7- and 5.5-inch form factors, packing a sleeker design and high pixel density.