Even though this year’s iPhone 5S has only been out for a few months, fans of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s products are already looking forward to the iPhone 6. Most are expecting it to have a bigger screen, potentially up to 5 inches in size, although there have been rumors stretching the size of the screen up to 6 inches.
Apple memo leaked
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) CEO Tim Cook said in an internal memo recently that he had a “big plan” for 2014. Although that memo was only meant to be circulated among Apple employees, it was leaked online, according to Know Your Mobile. Some will choose to believe that Cook’s “big plan” for 2014 is literally the bigger iPhone 6, while others will believe that these two little words mean there’s a new product category coming in 2014.
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Still others will expect the company to only stick to the status quo and keep updating its current products rather than launching anything truly new, thus suggesting that Cook’s comment was nothing more than the same statement he makes every time they have a new update to an old product. And then there’s the argument that the addition of China Mobile, the world’s largest mobile carrier with approximately 760 million subscribers, will do big things for Apple this year.
So to what extent is the iPhone 6 part of Cook’s big plan? And are there any new products in the pipeline for this year? Or is China Mobile the only “big” thing coming to Apple in 2014? Analysts will be considering these questions as they speculate about what the New Year will bring for one of the most-watched companies on Wall Street.
iPhone 6 release date speculations continue
Aside from the size of the iPhone 6, most want to know exactly when it will be out. It’s unclear if Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) will break with recent years in 2014. A report this morning from DigiTimes suggests that the device will come in May, which is a slightly different time frame than others have suggested.
Some have speculated that the bigger iPhone 6 will come no later than June or even as early as the first quarter of this year. Still others don’t think there’s any reason for Apple to release the new handset any earlier than it has in recent years, which would put the launch closer to September or October.
What the iPhone 6 could mean for China Mobile
Over the weekend, Apple and China Mobile Ltd. (NYSE:CHL) (HKG:941) announced that they had finally made a deal to put the iPhones on the latter’s network starting Jan. 17. Some analysts have suggested that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) will receive a nice boost from that deal, while others see less of a positive impact. The iPhone 5C in particular has done poorly in China, despite expectations that the less expensive iPhone would be perfect for a market where many can’t afford a pricey iPhone.
So when the iPhone 6 does arrive, what will it mean for China Mobile? It could be a very good thing if the screen is indeed larger because the Asian market has shown a significant interest in smartphones with bigger screens. However, if Chinese consumers can’t afford the handset, then even the larger iPhone 6 might not be able to save Apple’s efforts in China.
Other potential Apple products for 2014
If the comment about a “big plan” for 2014 means there are new product categories coming (hopefully in addition to a bigger iPhone 6), then there are a couple of options to choose from. There have been indications that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is building a so-called “iWatch” to compete with Samsung’s Galaxy Gear smart watch. The tech giant has been trademarking that iWatch name in multiple countries.
Some analysts continue to hold out hope for the rumored iTV smart television set. Several have been expecting this thing for years, but there have been no signs that there will ever be such a device.
This morning DigiTimes also reports that there’s a 12.9-inch iPad in the works at Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL). The Taiwanese website claims that the bigger iPad will launch in October and be manufactured by Quanta Computer. It also reports that Apple has been testing a 13.3-inch screen for the larger iPad as well, although that the 12.9-inch size is the one that is more likely to make it to market in 2014.