Battle: iPhone 6 release date has AT&T battling Verizon for Apple fans

The iPhone 6 is forthcoming and, with it, the decision on whether to use the upgrade eligibility as an opportunity to change carriers. AT&T and Verizon will both be offering the iPhone 6 from day one, but they’ll be advertising differing price points and offering different features and service plans. Both carriers will recruit hard to try to use the iPhone 6 to steal each other’s customers, but should you bite? And just when is the iPhone 6 release date coming?

The iPhone 6 will be centered around next generation 4G LTE, as the current iPhone 5s models are. 4G LTE Verizon has the nation’s largest 4G LTE network, which means you’ll have the best chance of being able to access it wherever you go. AT&T has the nation’s fastest 4G LTE network, meaning it’ll offer the best internet speeds when you are able to get an LTE signal, but you’ll have less of a chance of finding it. The key here will be whether Apple includes XLTE in the iPhone 6, and how quickly each carrier ends up embracing XLTE technology.

The iPhone pricing landscape once consisted of posting a single price for upgrade-eligible customers across all carriers. That’s begun to change, as various carriers are now advertising the iPhone for $100 less and then adding that cost back in to the first year’s monthly payments, and other similar schemes. AT&T and Verizon will no doubt each attempt to paint themselves as offering the iPhone 6 at the lowest cost. But in reality, regardless of payment structure, the cost of the iPhone 6 hardware will be the same across all carriers. Any difference in pricing will come down to the monthly pricing plans themselves, and AT&T is modestly less expensive in this regard.

Verizon’s nationwide network is the most reliable overall, and that will translate to the iPhone 6 having more reliable phone calls and service, better access to data networks, and fewer dropped calls on Verizon than on AT&T. Couple this with the fact that AT&T is moderately more expensive, and the choice comes down to paying a little more for the marginally better experience (Verizon) or paying a little less for a modestly lesser experience (AT&T).

Apple tends to launch its new iPhone models in September or early October, so the iPhone 6 release date can be reliably counted on to surface in that time frame in the year 2014. Whether it shows up closer to early September or early October will come down to how quickly components become available in mass quantifies, and how swiftly the initial production can be ramped up overseas. Apple has had problems with initial inventory of the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S, but more recently has managed to deliver the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C in mass quantity from day one.

The iPhone 6 is expected to represent a major revamp of Apple’s smartphone, shifting to a thinner, more rounded device with a larger screen and a styling that’s less boxy than the last five flat-edged iPhone models. We’re predicting the iPhone 6 will be unveiled on September 10th and the iPhone 6 release date will come on September 19th, launching on both AT&T and Verizon along with T-Mobile and Sprint simultaneously.