The purported release dates for the Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone 6 and iWatch is ticking ever nearer, yet there is still no word from Apple on precisely when we will see either of these high-profile devices. This has led to a raft of speculation about Apple fans, as those eagerly anticipating the release of the next flagship handset murmur about its release date and potential spec list. But what do we know about the iPhone 6 and iWatch at this point in time, and when are we likely to see them hit the stores?
iPhone 6 and iWatch to launch separately
Well, the latest reports on the matter suggest that the iPhone 6 and iWatch will definitely launch at separate times. And it looks increasingly likely that the two models of the smartphone which are planned will also be released at different times. It is possible that the 4.7-inch version of the iPhone 6 will see a September release date, while a separate event later in the year will see Apple unveil its first smartwatch and phablet.
It is not yet known how these new products will be branded, but some sources have even suggested that the larger Apple smartphone could be named iPhablet creating an entirely new category for the consumer electronics giant.
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The latest rumours about Apple’s release schedule come from 9to5Mac, who have evidently spoken to an individual close to the Apple hierarchy. The release of the next major Apple operating system, iOS 8, is also highly likely to coincide with the release of the first model of the iPhone 6. Consumers could then see the so-called iPhablet and iWatch being unveiled and then launched a couple of months later, in time to meet the lucrative Christmas market.
September / October dates eyed by Apple
Leaks from Apple’s supply chain are currently indicating that the iPhone 6 will be launched in either the second or third week of September. It seems that the dates of either September 12 of September 19 could be pencilled in as the iPhone 6 release date. The iWatch, alongside OS X Yosemite, would then be announced and unveiled at a subsequent Apple media events in October, with the release date likely to follow in November. It is thought that this event will also reveal the long since rumoured Apple phablet.
Whether this was Apple’s original intention is certainly open to debate. It seems likely based on the previously emanating from the company that Apple intended to launch both models of the iPhone 6 concurrently. But it seems that the phablet-sized iPhone has been subject to delays because the display panel has been tricky to manufacture satisfactorily. it would appear that the new Sapphire Glass is to blame for this particular issue, as apparently implementing a sapphire blend on a 5.5-inch device has proved more cumbersome than on its smaller 4.7-inch cousin.
In terms of the iWatch, very little is currently know about this device. What can be said with some confidence is that Apple is extremely likely to market its first smartwatch by emphasising its fitness-related capabilities. The ground has already been prepared for this with its recent iPhone 5S advertising campaign. And with Samsung recruiting the likes of Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney to front its Galaxy Gear advertising campaign, it is thought that Apple will follow suit with a similar branding approach.
Apple has already stated explicitly that it intends to launch a wrist-based device, but has delayed doing so until it feels that the consumer market is ready for such a product. With Google now announcing Android Wear, and Samsung having already had some success with its first wearable tech, it seems quite clear that Apple now considers it to be the right time to release the iWatch.
Apple to collaborate with Swatch
According to reports, Apple will partner with the well-known watch manufacturer Swatch (which was rejected after reports) in order to produce the IWatch. Sources close to Apple told VentureBeat that Apple will in fact launch a wide range of wearable technology, and that the emphasis on each device will vary greatly depending on the market segmentation that Apple is targeting. The source indicated that the family of smartwatches produced by Apple will suit all tastes “from geek too chic”.
Recent economic indicators for Apple, along with share price performance, have been extremely positive. Apple’s shares rose 3.3 percent to a 22-month high of $97.88 on the Nasdaq on Wednesday, and it seems likely that the stock price may once again crack the $100 barrier in due course. Multiple brokerages have raised the price targets on Apple stock to a potential high of $123. Apple’s gross margin has also risen to 39.4 percent in the third quarter from 36.9 per cent a year earlier.
With the city apparently enthusiastic about Apple’s short-term strategy, it seems that both September and October will be big months for Apple as well as the mobile industry as a whole.