by Christopher Morris
Apple's next generation flagship smartphone should hit the stores in early October
After months of speculation, rumor and leaks, it finally seems that the iPhone 6 may be about to be unveiled. The Wall Street Journal is reporting today that Apple will unveil its next-generation smartphone at a special event on September 9.
Apple follows typical strategy
Although Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is currently declining to comment on these reports, A September unveiling would be very much consistent with its previous strategy for the iPhone. Previous versions of Apple's flagship smartphone have typically been announced in early to mid-September, with the actual device going on sale a few weeks later.
The timing of this particular iPhone reveal was originally unveiled by the technology news site Re/code. Citing sources apparently very close to the Apple hierarchy, the credibility of these reports is such that numerous major outlets have since picked up on them.
In terms of the release date for the iPhone 6, this is still open to speculation. Recent reports emanating from Apple's supply chain have indicated that, contrary to the popular belief of analysts for some time, the iPhone 6 could hit the stores in October. Today's announcement does rather support this notion, but it is too early to say whether or not the October prognosis will be correct.
It is certainly possible that Apple could yet release the iPhone 6 later in September (although it would be very late in September based on the date of the unveiling). However, the latest leaks from the Apple supply chain suggest that this is unlikely. What can be said very confidently is that the iPhone 6 will hit the market later than the previous iPhone release. The dual iPhone 5s and 5c release took place in the second week of September 2013.
iPhone 6′s phablet version uncertainty
With Apple apparently looking to release at least two Versions of the iPhone 6, release dates for this particular device could be more complex than usual. The iPhone 6 will, according to all indications and leaks, feature a 5.5-inch premium phablet version, and a more typical smartphone-sized handset, which is muted to have the usual 4.7-inch display.
At one time, it was assumed that both iPhone models would hit the market concurrently, but analysts have since speculated that this may not be the case. With Apple allegedly experiencing issues with the new Sapphire Glass with which it reportedly intends to construct the new iPhone 6, production of the larger, premium device is proving somewhat problematical. It could be that the phablet-sized iPhone may even be delayed until 2015.
Thus, it has been suggested that Apple may delay the release of the larger iPhone 6 and launch the 4.7-inch version on its own. It has even been reported in the past couple of days that Apple has ditched its apparently very solid plans to manufacture the iPhone 6 from Sapphire Glass. However, with the company itself keeping decidedly quiet on the matter, at this point in time it is not clear precisely what release schedule will be put in place, or what the make-up of the iPhone 6 will be.
iPhone 6 expected to exceed previous models
Despite these doubts over what Apple's iPhone 6 schedule could be, Apple is still expected to do very well with this new smartphone release. Apple is asking suppliers to manufacture between 70 million and 80 million units combined of the new iPhones, and analysts are already predicting that it will constantly outsell previous iPhone models. Indeed, some analysts have mooted that Apple will shift more units than the corporation itself has predicted.
This would be concurrent with the general trend of iPhone sales in 2014. After lukewarm sales figures and growth potential disappointed the markets in the early part of 2014, Apple has staged a significant recovery from this unenviable beginning to the calendar year. In the quarter ending June 28, Apple sold 35.2 million iPhones, which was 12.7 percent more than in the same period twelve months earlier. On the back of this encouraging news, Apple's share price rallied and its stock has risen by just under twenty percent over the year as a whole.
Fans of Apple and close followers of the tech market alike will be particularly intrigued by the September 9 event. With Apple expected to announce a new range of iPads in due course, and the public still awaiting the confirmation of Apple's first smartwatch, the iWatch, the announcements made at this event will be watched very closely indeed. While Apple tends to follow a very narrow and specific agenda for its public pronouncements, it could choose to discuss future product lines as well as the iPhone at this particular unveiling.
But our first encounter with the iPhone 6 may be just weeks away.