For the first time in company history, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is expected to release not one but two new iPhone models this year: the sixth-generation iPhone, called the iPhone 5S, and a completely new "low-cost" iPhone model aimed at emerging markets, to be called either iPhone Light or iPhone 6. But in an effort to differentiate this iPhone from the company’s main iPhone line, which is sold only in black and white options, Apple will reportedly sell the iPhone 6 in a variety of candy colors, including green, red and yellow.
Giving credence to these color rumors about the iPhone 6, French site NowhereElse posted several photos that looked like rear shells of Apple’s low-cost iPhone 6. Even though the shells could be simple iPhone 5 clones, a number of specs (such as the rear microphone hole and rounded edges on the back) are consistent with previous reports about the iPhone 6, including an alleged set of iPhone 6 schematics recently leaked by an Apple case maker. Take a look at the alleged iPhone 6 photos below.
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While the authenticity of these particular photos is open to debate, many continue to believe Apple will release the iPhone 6 in a variety of candy colors. Topeka Markets analyst Brian White saw this coming in January when he predicted Apple would release the iPhone 6 in a variety of colors like the fifth-generation iPod Touch, which is sold in six colors including black, white, teal, pink, yellow and (Product)RED, the last of which sees a portion of every sale donated to helping fight AIDs in Africa. Apple may choose to release the iPhone 6 in all of these same colors, but if those aren't enough color for you, you could always AnoStyle your iPhone 5 (or iPad Mini) in an array of vibrant colors for just $250.
But besides the colors, the iPhone 6 in many ways is Apple’s attempt at diversifying the iPhone brand like its iPod brand. In May, Apple released its cheapest, thinnest, most basic iPod Touch, a move that likely foreshadows the company’s future strategy with iPhone: Create a basic model and make it different, but above all, make it accessible.
Apple iPhone 6 Release Coming: What Will It Look Like?
The iPhone 6, according to iLounge editor-in-chief Jeremy Horwitz, is a "cross between the iPhone 5, the fifth-generation iPod touch and -- wait for it -- the iPod classic." With its 4-inch screen like the iPhone 5, a tapered bottom like the latest iPod touch and a rectangular shape like the iPod classic, the low-cost iPhone 6 is said to be substantially made from plastic but feature a hybrid chassis made of both plastic and metal. The right side of the iPhone 6 features a flat, centered SIM card tray like the iPhone 5, with the locations of the camera, microphone and rear flash located similarly to where they were on the latest-generation iPod touch.
But Apple's choice to release the iPhone 6 isn't about bold design; it's about an iPhone that's inexpensive to make and cheaper to sell. Apple will reportedly focus on driving the iPhone 6 into emerging markets such as India and China, but especially China, which is Apple’s second-largest market after the U.S. Apple has many times tried to strike a deal with China Mobile Ltd. (NYSE:CHL), the largest telecommunications carrier in the world, with 703 million subscribers; earlier this year, Apple CEO Tim Cook not-so-quietly visited China Mobile headquarters to meet with Chairman Xi Guohua to discuss “matters of cooperation.” If Apple can release the iPhone 6 on China Mobile, the iPhone 6 will be the first iPhone to release with TD-LTE frequency capabilities, which should make it a hit in Asia.
We expect Apple to unveil the iPhone 6 simultaneously with the iPhone 5S in September to coincide with the release date of iOS 7, but we think the two new iPhone models will release on two separate dates to avoid heavy lines at Apple's physical retail stores; specifically, we believe Apple will release the iPhone 5S on Sept. 20, just two days after the release of iOS 7, and release the iPhone 6 a week after the iPhone 5S on Friday, Sept. 27. What do you think? Does this release-date timetable for iPhone 5S and iPhone 6 seem reasonable? Let us know in the comments section below.