iPhone 6 vs iPhone 5s (hand 002)

Having started taking pre-orders for Apple’s unreleased and still unofficial iPhone 6 a good five days ago, carrier China Mobile has now posted to its official website what it claims are official hardware specifications of the 4.7-inch version of the handset, GforGames reported Monday afternoon.

Some of the more surprising hardware and design features of the handset reportedly include water and dust-resistance and sapphire protection for the display, allowing for a virtually unbreakable device.

However, it’s impossible to determine whether China Mobile is making an educated guess or if the firm is in fact relaying Apple-sanctioned information. In case of the former, China Mobile could easily get reprimanded for leaking out its partner’s secrets ahead of tomorrow’s big reveal.

This tidbit comes after rival China Telecom said recently that a single iPhone 6 model supports all the major wireless standards in the 1.33 billion people market.

In a not-so-smart PR stunt, their post was accompanied by a set of pretty iPhone 6 renderings which creators Tomas Moyano and Nicolàs Aichino posted on Bēhance. It’s worth keeping in mind that China Mobile is the world’s largest mobile operator by market capitalization, its subscriber base dwarfing AT&T and Verizon combined.

Before we get to the meaty bits, China Mobile’s post affirms the rumored September 19 release date that the French blog iGen.fr mentioned earlier today. For reference, September 19 is the Friday the week after tomorrow’s announcement.

But unlike iGen, China Mobile says only the 4.7-inch handset will hit their store shelves come September 19. That China Mobile didn’t have 5.5-inch iPhone 6’s specs may be interpreted as yet another sign of the two phones not launching simultaneously.

Here’s what China Mobile is calling for:

  • Apple A8 chip with quad-core processor
  • 1,134-by-750 resolution Retina display with sapphire glass protection
  • 8-megapixel main camera coupled with a 2.1MP front-facing shooter
  • 16/32/64/128GB storage tiers
  • Gold, White and Black finishes
  • iOS 8
  • Dimensions: 138 (H) x 67 (W) x 7mm (D)
  • Nano SIM-card
  • Waterproof and dustproof

A few thoughts:

  • Recent reports have re-ignited rumors that Apple will be joining the megapixel race with Sony’s 13-megapixel Exmor IMX220 camera sensor on the 5.5-inch model.
  • The new 128GB tier is thought to be exclusive to the 5.5-inch variant.
  • Chinese media think the Apple-designed A8 chip is dual-core (with quad-core graphics) and clocked at two GHz or more per core; this is the first time we heard about a quad-core CPU inside the A8.
  • The 4.7-inch model is expected to have a screen resolution of 1,704-by-960 pixels with ultra-sharp images at 416 pixels per inch, especially compared to the current iPhone’s 326ppi Retina screen; the claimed 1,134-by-750 resolution, in my personal view, is nonsensical given the four-inch 1,136-by-640 screens on the iPhone 5/5c/5s.
  • Assuming the dimensions are correct, the 4.7-incher is going to be 14.2mm taller, 8.4mm wider and 0.6mm thinner than the iPhone 5s.
  • None of the leaked parts corroborates the theory on a waterproof/dustproof iPhone 6.

Again, this post is live on China Mobile’s official webpage where they are collecting pre-orders for the forthcoming devices. Now, I don’t pretend to be an expert in China, but I’d be surprised if the world’s top carrier dared publicize fake specs.

Feel free to add your observations down in the comments.

See also: our comprehensive roundup of iPhone 6 and iWatch rumors.

[China Mobile via GforGames]