Will Apple Release the iPhone 6 or iPhone 5S in 2013?
The big question, however, is whether Apple will choose to release a full upgrade (like the iPhone 3, 4 or 5) or simply enhance the existing model (similar to the iPhone 3GS and 4S). According to a new report by The Next Web, it would seem that Apple may be planning to release the iPhone 6 this year.
The report states that developers have uncovered identifiers that reference iOS 7 and a so-called "iPhone6,1." That identifier is notable because of the way the iPhone 5 was labeled before its release. The iPhone 5 is identified as "iPhone5,1" and "iPhone 5,2." Each label represents a different version of the 4G LTE antenna contained within the device.
It would be uncharacteristic of Apple to release the iPhone 6 this year. The company has historically reserved its bigger and more significant upgrades for release every 20 to 24 months. By releasing the iPhone 6 in 2013, Apple would forgo the chance to sell an upgraded model of the iPhone 5.
The iPhone 6 will also carry higher expectations from both analysts and consumers, who will anticipate new innovations and a drastic redesign.
In the days before Apple unveiled the iPhone 4S, media hype had reached an all-time high. Consumers were expecting an Earth-shattering announcement that would drastically transform the world of mobile communications. After Apple unveiled the iPhone 4S and brought consumers back to reality, tech bloggers complained about the lack of innovation.
A similar degree of complaints could have followed the iPhone 5. Unlike the iPhone 4S, however, the iPhone 5 was preceded by accurate rumors that correctly detailed the device's new features -- including the modified form factor. This was considered to be a key part of the iPhone 5's development. Without it, consumers may have interpreted the device as another iPhone 4 enhancement.
Apple could afford to keep the iPhone 5 form factor for another 12 months, but only if it maintains the iPhone 5 name. If it chooses to release the iPhone 6 this year instead, consumers will demand more than another simple upgrade.
For better or worse, the form factor that Apple chooses could be a key, well, factor in deciding how well the next iPhone performs. A new report on DigiTimes shows that smartphone manufacturers intend to continue building larger devices, including one from Samsung that features a 6.3-inch display. While Apple may want to maintain the compact size of the existing iPhone, the new trend could force Apple to release a larger iPhone far sooner than it intended.
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