The iPhone 6S could be out as early as this coming spring, according to a new report, which also suggests that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) could release the iPhone 7 next fall sometime. The report also suggests that the iPhone 6S could go on sale the same time as the already-announced Apple Watch, which is scheduled for release in the spring.
iPhone releases may become staggered
Last year Apple started the trend of launching two iPhones at the same time, putting out the iPhone 5S and the less expensive iPhone 5C together in the fall. Then this year, the company launched the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus at the same time. Next year though, Apple could stagger its iPhone releases, according to Stabley Times, which cites a source within Apple’s supply chain.
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The company is said to be planning to put six months in between iPhone releases, which could enable it to keep up with competitor Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (LON:BC94) (KRX:005930), which releases its Galaxy S smartphone each year about six months before the next Galaxy Note phablet. Apple is also said to be hoping to give iPhone sales a boost in the spring when it releases the Apple Watch.
Keeping up with smartphone upgrades
In the past, mobile carriers in the U.S. limited consumers’ abilities to upgrade their smartphones to between 18 and 24 months. Because of those limits, it made sense for Apple to only release one smartphone per year.
However, new installment plans like Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ)’s NEXT plan and AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T)’s EDGE plan enable consumers to upgrade much sooner, meaning Apple could benefit from launching new iPhones every six months rather than once a year.
iPhone 6S, iPhone 7 both coming in 2015?
In previous years, Apple released the S upgrade every other year with only small design changes. This year though, the iPhone 6 apparently received such a great response from consumers that Apple is bent on releasing a major redesign every year instead of every other.
As the report from Stabley Times notes, this would suggest that both the iPhone 6S with small design changes and the iPhone 7 with big design changes will both come out next fall. The website’s source, however, said Apple management feels they need to launch a new iPhone along with the Apple Watch in the spring. They believe not releasing a new iPhone with the smartwatch might convince consumers to wait until the iPhone 6S comes out in the fall and then purchase both devices together.
The source added that they are considering launching the iPhone 6S in the spring and then the iPhone 7 in September. Stabley Times also reports that a variant on this rumor suggests that the iPhone 6S will be released in the spring and that the iPhone 7 won’t arrive until spring of 2016. The website notes that there is some precedent for this because the iPad 3 was on the market for only six months before Apple launched the iPad 4.