The iPhone has been the dominant smartphone for the better part of the last decade, but if there’s one truly prohibitive aspect of the iPhone, it’s the price. Sure, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is considered a luxury brand, but without carrier subsidies, the iPhone can cost almost as much as a laptop, especially in other countries. For example, a 16 GB iPhone 5 costs $1,329 in India, which is about twice the price of the same unsubsidized model in the U.S.
Luckily for cash-strapped consumers, Apple is slated to release two new iPhone models this year for the first time, including a high-end model called iPhone 5S and an inexpensive model aimed at lower tax brackets and emerging markets such as India and China. Some believe Apple will call the latter device the iPhone 6, but we think the company will adopt simple nomenclature and call it iPhone. Regardless of its name, many consumers have shown deep interest in this cheap iPhone model and want to know when its release date will arrive. We’ve done some math, and we believe we’ve figured out Apple’s release date timetable for the iPhone 6. We believe Apple will release the iPhone 6 on Sept. 27.
How iOS 6 And iPhone 5S Fit Into The Equation
It’s impossible to peg the release date for the new iPhone 6 without considering Apple’s other products and services alleged to release at and around the same time. No Apple products exist in a bubble; everything is interconnected. That said, the release date of iPhone 6 will definitely coincide with the release date of the other new iPhone set to release this year, the iPhone 5S, as well as the release date of iOS 7.
In 2012, iOS 6 was introduced June 11 and saw its release date on Sept. 19 -- exactly 100 days after its unveiling. We don't think Tim Cook will mess with the successful Apple formula left behind by Steve Jobs, so we believe Apple will again follow this iOS release timetable by launching iOS 7 exactly 100 days after its introduction, on Sept. 18.
Assuming iOS 7 will be released on Sept. 18, we don’t expect Apple to release such an important software update without some hardware to go with it. That’s why we expect Apple to release its highest-end iPhone model, the iPhone 5S, just two days after the release date for iOS 7, on Sept. 20.
Regarding the iPhone 6, we believe Apple will announce its two new iPhone models together but release them on separate dates to prevent major crowds and lines at its retail stores. There is a chance Apple may bundle together the release dates of iPhone 5S and iPhone 6, which would also make it less confusing to customers looking to buy one phone or the other, but we ultimately believe Apple will release the iPhone 6 a week after the iPhone 5S on Sept. 27. Apple may also wait an extra week to release the iPhone 6 on Oct. 4, which would coincide with the two year anniversary of the death of Steve Jobs, as well as the release of the iPhone 4S, but we don't think this is the case.
What Will The Budget iPhone Look Like?
For months, we’ve seen alleged leaks, photos and specs of the budget iPhone 6, but the past few weeks have seen a great surge in rumors, powered by convincing photos -- and even video -- of what Apple plans to release for the iPhone 6. After French site NowhereElse posted photos of alleged rear shells of the iPhone 6 in early July, M.I.C. Gadget blog Editor-in-Chief Chris Chang posted photos and video of the cheap iPhone 6 on the Techdy Blog, which he said came directly from suppliers in Taiwan. The photos look authentic, which leads us to believe the iPhone 6 is real and ready for its release date this fall.
Back in January, iLounge Editor-in-Chief Jeremy Horwitz said the iPhone 6 would be released as 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 budget iPhone 6 is said to be substantially made from plastic, but featuring a hybrid chassis made of both plastic and metal: Techdy believes Apple has chosen to release the iPhone 6 in a polycarbonate solution. The right side of the iPhone 6 features a flat, centered subscriber identity module, or 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.
Apple plans to release the iPhone 6 in all the same markets as its high-end iPhone line but will reportedly focus on driving the new iPhone 6 in China, which is Apple’s second-largest market after the U.S. Apple likely wants to strike a deal with China Mobile Ltd. (NYSE:CHL), the largest telecommunications carrier in the world with 703 million subscribers, to support the iPhone 6 on its expansive TD-LTE network after its release date this year.
What do you think of the iPhone 6? Would you consider purchasing an iPhone 6 over Apple’s main iPhone line, even if that means sacrificing some key user features to save some money? Do you think Apple will bundle the release dates of the iPhone 5S and iPhone 6 together? Give us your thoughts of the iPhone 6 in the comments section below.