An incredibly sketchy report, citing supply chain sources, claims the iPhone 6s could arrive as early as spring next year, to coincide with the eagerly-anticipated launch of Apple Watch.
“[O]ur source says that Apple is hesitant about launching the iWatch in the spring of 2015 without a new iPhone to go along with it, as it could give hesitant consumers an excuse to wait on buying both until the fall,” notes Jerry Miller of Stabley Times.
The report goes on to suggest that Apple is looking to narrow the time between iPhone releases down to six-monthly intervals to match the more rapid release cycle of other companies, such as Samsung and Sony — the latter of which upgrades its Xperia Z handsets every six months.
Although the report has been picked up by at least one major news outlet, the rumor is almost certainly completely untrue. For one thing, no other smartphone handset maker is making close to the money Apple is from the iPhone, with its annual update policy. According to a recent (more believable) report, Sony is even considering dropping its twice-yearly refreshes in favor of Apple-style annual updates of its Xperia Z phones. With the iPhone 6 still making money hand over fist, there’s no compelling reason whatsoever to introduce a new iPhone so early in the product cycle.
Secondly, Apple is in the rare and luxurious position of setting its own timescale for new product launches. If the company was that worried about introducing Apple Watch at the same time as a new iPhone, it would have waited until September 2015 — when the next iPhone really is likely to arrive — to introduce its wearables debut.
For what it’s worth, Apple Watch is likely to arrive early 2015, costing between $349 and $5,000 depending on the model. We’d be very surprised if there’s a new iPhone to accompany it.