As we round out the week, a look back at news and rumors for the iPhone 6 release date, now also considered as possibly an iPhone 5S release. The idea of the iPhone 6 vs iPhone 5S is gaining momentum, and whichever way you slice it, we had news this week of an iPhone 6 release date in early Summer, possible June or July as Apple could continue its new trend of 6 month release cycles to allow for a more continuous flow of updates.
Apple analyst Peter Misek offered a report this week that not only peg the release as an iPhone 5S, but thinks that it will start production in March with an iPhone 5S release date happening in June or July. Here's what he said:
"Our checks indicate that preliminary builds for the iPhone 5S will start in March for a launch in June/July. As word of the earlier production schedule starts to spread, we believe we could see a slight slowing of demand CQ1 in anticipation of the new product launch and Apple will likely start curtailing channel inventory."
He also thinks that the long-whispered idea of a cheaper iPhone 6 release with fewer features and capabilities will be: "Similar to the iPad mini, we expect a concentrated low-cost iPhone rather than a "cheap" one. Likely specs: polycarbonite case with 4" non-Retina display and no LTE. We believe a new low-cost iPhone would increase Apple's share, decrease [gross margins], but have little impact on [earnings per share]"
Maybe that’s what the iPhone 6 vs iPhone 5S will be ... the iPhone 6 release will be a new, full featured iPhone release and the iPhone 5S will emerge making the “S” series the cheaper iPhone alternative. Total guess, but possible.
MacRumors and AppleInsider talk about Misek's reaction to the lowered display panel orders mentioned in the Wall Street Journal, saying that "Misek casts significant doubt on the reasons for the dire claims, suggesting that lowered component orders are largely driven by an assembly bottleneck that has resulted in oversupply of components and projected ramping down of production leading into the iPhone 5S. "
This seemed obvious at the time of the WSJ publishing ... yet another example of talking a juicy bit of information (lowered order count) and attaching a wildly speculative AND unconfirmed analysis: "guessing" that it was because of lowered orders. And then the media takes that and runs with it ... suddenly everybody thinks the unconfirmed rumor is true and is reporting it as fact.
If we look at the WSJ breakdown of the story, the key component of the rumor was in saying "The move indicates that sales of the new iPhone haven't been as strong as previously anticipated and demand may be waning." No proof that that was why the move was made, unverified, but presents an analysis. And the media was only too happy to run with it. Sure, I'm publishing iPhone news and rumors in these articles, but at least I'm making a careful distinction on what's fact and what's pure hypothesis.
I can think of any number of reasons to decrease an order on display panels: first and foremost the idea that's been floated that Innolux is licensing Sharp's IGZO technology for new display technology in the iPhone 6 release or iPhone 5S. It's a newer type of display that they've supposedly been working out the licensing issues on. So a decreased order on the old display technology might be a tip that they have the go ahead to use the IGZO technology in the iPhone 5S or iPhone 6 release date.
One of the interesting possible new iPhone 6 features this week that surfaced was the fingerprint sensor on the home button located at the base of the front of the iPhone. AppleInsider mentioned this, which is based on old technology but could represent an interesting new iPhone feature that would provide security.
Quoting Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities, AppleInsider said that "Apple's acquisition of AuthenTec to pay off this year with the so-called "iPhone 5S," the company's anticipated next-generation handset. He believes Apple will find a way to integrate the fingerprint sensor into the home button, allowing Apple to keep its "minimalist design."" The feature would eliminate the need to remember a password but still provide (possibly better) security and privacy on your iPhone. AI also points to Ming-Chi Kuo's stellar track record, saying that the analyst called everything that Apple released last Fall before it happened.
So what iPhone features would you like to see? Do you think it will be an iPhone 6 that is released or an iPhone 5S? And what do you think the iPhone 6 release date will be?