Consumer Electronics

What If the iPhone 6 Launches in October?

Douglas A. McIntyre

iPhone KeyboardMembers of the press are absolutely certain that the new Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) iPhone 6 will launch in September — on September 6 to be exact. Apple probably will have a media event that day, so what else can the company possibly say?

The iPhone 6 release faces some problems, many of which have happened before. Supply chain mechanics might make a release difficult. So might last-minute glitches in its features. Or Apple may have decided it needs more time to clear out inventories of the iPhone 5, although that process is usually handled by sharp discounts after the release of a new version.

The last time consumers, developers and investors were disappointed by Apple was during its June 2 Worldwide Developers Conference. All Apple had to show was a new operating system and some new developer features for existing products. No new iPad or new iPhone. As a matter of fact, Apple could not even muster a major overhaul of its decade-old iPod that day.

Investors clearly think the iPhone 6 launch will happen very soon, and that the new smartphone will be an extraordinary success. Apple’s stock price has risen to $95, just below its 52-week high, and well above the low of $63.89. The lack of an iPhone 6 introduction in September could send the shares plunging. Among the reasons is that iPhone 6 sales would not add as much as expected to revenue in the upcoming quarter. And Apple might miss a portion of the critical holiday season.

Among of the reasons some outsiders have become impressed with Apple again is the reinvention, or reimaging (to use a newly invented word), of the company by current CEO Tim Cook. He can finally stand on his own, outside the shadow of Steve Jobs. However, no matter how much he has transformed, or will transform, Apple, the world expects new versions of its flagship product. And these versions need to be released on time and have revolutionary features. Cook’s reinvention cannot trump that.

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