The iPhone 7 will come out in September 2015 just months after the release of the iPhone 6s, according to a new report.
The iPhone 7 release date has been pegged by multiple outlets as in or around September of next year, but the information about the 6s is new.
A source in the supply chain told Stabley Times, a relatively unknown blog whose reporting should be taken with caution, that Apple wants to launch the iPhone 6S in spring 2015 to accompany the launch of the iWatch.
The company would then launch the iPhone 7 in September.
“Another variant has the iPhone 6S arriving in the spring and sticking around for a full year, with the iPhone 7 being released in the spring of 2016. There is some precedent, as Apple only kept the iPad 3 on the market for six months before launching the iPad 4,” the blog claimed.
“If Apple truly is about to launch the iPhone 6S in six months and the iPhone 7 another half year after that, there will be blowback from those who see the move as overkill – but Cupertino is well aware that those types tend to criticize it for everything it does or doesn’t do anyway. While our source stresses that it’s still very early in the decision making process and that Apple could easily change its mind, the mere notion that such a plan is being kicked around points to Tim Cook and company being increasingly willing to break from its patterns.”
The new report comes after Taiwan’s Industrial and Commercial Times said that Apple would discontinue the iPhone 5C as early as summer 2015.
Sales of that model were poor and the model being discontinued would mean the same number of models would be available with the release of a new model, either the iPhone 6S or the iPhone7.
Some people believe Apple will release a 6S model while others think the company will skip it entirely and go straight to the iPhone 7.
Apple launched two new models–the 5C and the higher-end iPhone 5S–for the iPhone 5.
KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo noted recently that Apple plans to stop production of the iPhone 5C and the iPhone 4S in 2015 after promotional plans wrap up.
Meanwhile, stock analyst Mike Walkley of Canaccord says that Apple stock shares have risen 20 cents recently and are likely to increase even more. He says there is a very strong demand for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, and that the higher capacity configurations–the 64 GB and the 128 GB–are in high demand due to supply constraints.
“Given the increasing content consumers use and store on their smartphones,” writes Walkley, “we believe consumer preferences for the higher-ASP (versus 16GB) 64GB SKU will persist during future iPhone upgrade cycles leading us to increase our iPhone ASPs and overall estimates for F2015 and F2016.”
Merrill Lynch’s Wamsi Mohan agreed, suggesting slightly stronger demand for both models while also noting “improved availablity.”
On the other hand, Pac Crest’s Andy Hargreaves says the iPhone cycle is “mostly priced in,” and the company is seeing replacement sales not new customers.
“FQ1 (Dec.) iPhone demand appears very strong and supply appears high enough to support shipments of around 70 million units, which would be 6.6 million units above our estimate and could add $0.25 to our FQ1 EPS estimate,” writes Hargreaves.
“However, we believe extraordinary replacement activity, rather than stronger-than-expected new iPhone user growth, is driving much of the strength.”
*Top photo: (Flickr/Jan-Willem Reusink)