With an iPhone 6 launch event all but confirmed for September 9th, there’s a good chance that a iPhone 6 release date is right around the corner. With the new iPhone release in sight, we want to take a look at what we don’t expect from Apple and the upcoming iPhone 6 release.
For most of 2014, we’ve seen iPhone 6 rumors swirl. Over the course of seven months, vague details and leaks have given way to very specific rumors regarding the iPhone 6 specs, the iPhone 6 design, the iPhone 6 launch date and of course, the iPhone 6 release date. No stone has been left unturned in the build up to Apple’s iPhone launch.
In the lead up to September, we’ve seen iPhone 6 rumors start to firm up around key details. iPhone 6 design rumors point to an overhaul that includes more metal, a thinner frame, changes to the button layout, a taller and wider form factor, Touch ID, and more. iPhone 6 spec rumors point to a number of significant upgrades including a larger higher resolution displays, a new A8 processor with M8 coprocessor, and an improved rear camera for better photos and video.
Earlier this month, iPhone 6 launch date rumors were all but confirmed thanks to reports from Recode and The Wall Street Journal that not only put the iPhone 6 launch date in September as rumors suggested but put it on a specific date. September 9th is now the leading candidate for the iPhone 6 launch date and it should only be a matter of time before Apple sends out invites beckoning the media to a launch event in California.
It’s there that we expect to hear all about the iPhone 6 specs, iPhone 6 design and the iPhone 6 release date that remains elusive despite a number of credible rumors.
With an iPhone 6 launch date virtually set in stone for September 9th, it’s clear that the iPhone 6 release is close. Apple historically offers a two week gap between launch and release and iPhone 6 rumors put its arrival inside the month of September.
While iPhone 6 release date details have been a bit scarce, we have enough information and enough experience with iPhone releases to make some predictions about how the iPhone 6 release and release date will play out. We’ve already taken a look at what we expect and it’s now time to reverse gears.
Here is what we do not expect from the iPhone 6 release and these are the things that we think prospective buyers will want to keep in mind as we head closer to September 9th and the fall.
Only the U.S. Release Date at Launch
On September 9th, Apple is almost certainly going to outline the iPhone 6 release and release date. Unlike some Android manufacturers, Apple always offers very specific iPhone release information at its launch events and we’re not expecting anything less from the company this year.
We expect the U.S. iPhone 6 release date to be a big piece of the puzzle but we’re not expecting it to be the only specific iPhone 6 release date announced on September 9th.
There are other important battlegrounds that Apple needs to look after and it will likely do so by announcing specific release dates for several regions around the world. Here’s how last year’s iPhone 5s release played out:
September 20th release:
- United States
- United Kingdom
- Hong Kong
Other countries saw the iPhone 5s arrive in either October, November or January. We’re expecting another staggered release for the iPhone 6 and we don’t expect Apple to hold back many details in regards to specific dates. Look for the company to outline its plans on September 9th in an attempt to quell interest in devices like the Galaxy Note 4, LG G3, and others.
One iPhone 6 Release Date Announced on Sept. 9th
Apple is expected to announce two new iPhone models at its launch event and we would be shocked if the company failed to tag one of them with a specific release date.
While nothing is confirmed, it’s looking like Apple will announced a 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and a larger 5.5-inch iPhone 6 on September 9th. If true, it would mirror what it did last year with the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c and the iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina Display. The company used one event to announce those pairings.
At those events, it tagged the devices with release dates. The iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c were given a September 20th release date while the iPad Air and iPad mini, which were revealed in October, were tagged with release dates in November. The iPad mini with Retina Display was not given a specific release date but Apple assured customers that it would be out in November.
We don’t expect anything different here with the iPhone 6. If Apple announces two iPhones, both should come with fairly specific release dates so that consumers can prepare themselves.
Both iPhone 6 Releases Outside September
At this point, given Apple’s history, and given the iPhone 6 release rumors that have continually put the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 model’s release inside of September, it’s hard to imagine both iPhone 6 releases taking place outside of September. In other words, we’d be shocked if both iPhones were released in the month of October.
iPhone 6 release rumors suggest that we could see a delayed release for the 5.5-inch iPhone 6. Rumors have centered around October and November, both of which make sense. One, Apple will want to get its iPhone out ahead of Black Friday, one of the biggest shopping dates of the year, which falls in late November. And two, getting its iPhone out prior to November ensures that it can provide ample stock during the holiday shopping season.
September looks like a lock for one iPhone 6 release, September 19th keeps coming up as a potential date, and while we may not see both iPhones arrive that day, we’d be surprised if we saw either device get released beyond October. November releases would be cutting it way too close to the holidays.
Different U.S. Carrier iPhone 6 Release Dates
As for the U.S. iPhone 6 release dates, we expect all five major carriers (AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular and Verizon) to carry both variants of the iPhone 6 should two variants appear. Furthermore, we don’t expect the top four carriers (AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon) to offer different iPhone 6 release dates for either device.
We always see the United States’ top carriers release the iPhone on the same day and it would be strange to see Apple use a staggered release in the United States with a major release like the iPhone 6. We always see one concrete day. In the case of the iPhone 6, we might see two iPhone 6 release dates and we expect U.S. carriers to share them both.
U.S. Cellular iPhone 6 Release Date Far Behind
Last year, U.S. Cellular started carrying the iPhone for the first time. The nation’s fifth largest carrier released the iPhone 5s in early November, several months after its rivals. Now that it has a year with the iPhone under its belt, we don’t expect there to be as big of a gap as the carrier looks to play catchup to its competitors.
Remember, U.S. Cellular is almost always at the front of the pack when it comes to big name Android smartphone launches and it would be surprising to see it falter with the iPhone 6 release. It may not arrive on day one but we’re not expecting the same kind of gap that we saw last year.
Smaller Carriers on Release Day
If you’re looking for the iPhone 6 on carriers like C Spire or Cricket, you’re probably going to have to wait. Smaller pre-paid and regional carriers are usually behind the curve and they typically leave the release day glory to the major carriers. We typically see these carriers release the iPhone over a period of a couple of months with some releasing just days after the initial iPhone release.
Those looking to snag an iPhone 6 on a service like Straight Talk will likely have to wait a little longer. StraightTalk is usually months behind the rest of the pack and it’s hard to expect a quicker turnaround with the iPhone 6. While things could speed up a bit, do not expect a Straight Talk iPhone 6 to arrive anywhere close to the first release day.
Delayed Color Options
Don’t expect Apple to pull a Samsung. While consumers had to wait to get their hands on the gold and blue versions of the Samsung Galaxy S5, those who bought last year’s iPhone 5s were treated to all three colors right off the bat.
iPhone 6 color options remain in the shadows but we don’t expect to see any exclusives or any delays when it comes to the iPhone 6’s design. Look for Apple to put them all on sale immediately without any red tape.
Do not expect to encounter ample stock at physical retail locations like Best Buy and RadioShack. Historically, Apple Stores and carrier stores carry the most stock on the iPhone release day. Third-party retailers typically don’t have a lot of options and we almost always see them, Apple Stores and carrier stores sell out on day one.
If you do go to a third-party retailer, don’t expect to get the storage and color option that you want. We almost always see the most popular variants go first. Last year, the 16GB and 32GB gold iPhone 5s variants sold out almost instantly.
Zero Shipping Delays
Do not expect a flawless pre-order or ordering process. We almost always see the iPhone hit with shipping delays due to widespread demand. And with the iPhone 6 representing the biggest change to the iPhone since the iPhone 5, we’re expecting the device to ensure the same shipping delays that we’ve seen other, lesser iPhones incur.
It’s hard to predict how long those shipping delays might last, it’s typically a few weeks at least, so those who want the iPhone 6 on release day will want to be on their toes and ready to order the second it goes on sale.
Stagnant iPhone Pricing
When the iPhone 6 release arrives, we expect Apple to change up its current iPhone pricing. For years, Apple has offered the iPhone at $199.99, $99 and free on-contract price points. With two new iPhones on the way, we’re expecting devices to get bumped down in price.
Here is how we could see the iPhone 6 lineup panning out:
- iPhone 6 5.5-inch: $299.99
- iPhone 6 4.7-inch: $199.99
- iPhone 5s: $99
- iPhone 5c: Free-on-contract
This, if true, would put an iPhone at every single key Android price point. Whatever the case, don’t expect the iPhone 5s to stay at its full $199.99 price point a year after release. Not with retailers like Walmart already offering it at $99.
Same goes for the iPhone 5c. Walmart is offering it for just $29 on-contract and we simply can’t see Apple continuing to offer it at $99.
iPhone 6 Release That’s Not a Spectacle
Finally, don’t expect the iPhone 6 release to be quiet like the iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina Display releases were. It will almost certainly be the spectacle that Apple wants it to be.
Last year, Tim Cook and other Apple execs went out to Apple Stores to greet iPhone shoppers, all in an effort to foster a better and more open relationship with their loyal customers.
Apple loves the limelight and it uses that limelight to hurt the competition. With huge Samsung and Motorola launches coming in September, look for Apple to bring out the big guns for the iPhone 6 release and turn it into a truly memorable launch.