iPhone 6 release date races with iWatch, Apple televisions in 2014

Apple is already prepping the iPhone 6 for its release date, but has attempted to be as tight lipped as usual in the name of keeping the public’s focus on the existing iPhone models until the new one is ready to be unveiled. That’s left the public seeking out rumors, looking for patterns, and trying to predict what Apple is planning to do with the iPhone 6 so they can plan their upgrade schedule accordingly. This comes even as Apple quietly continues work in its iWatch smart watch and Apple-branded smart television sets, setting up a three way race to see which one gets released first in 2014. Here’s everything we know regarding the release date, rumors, pricing, and its post-Retina Display plans for the iPhone 6.

Apple ties its iPhone launches to the release of new versions of its iOS operating system, which means the iPhone 6 and iOS 8 will debut in tandem later this year. How much later depends largely on how long it ends up taking for iOS 8 to not only be finished to Apple’s own liking, but also beta tested by app developers. Apple will release a beta test version of iOS 8 in early June. Throw in another one to three months for testing to finish, and the iPhone 6 release date will arrive somewhere between July and September.

The last five iPhones have all debuted at $199 and up, and stuck with that price for their entire year in the headlining slot before being bargain binned in favor of the next year’s model. But over the past several months Apple has quietly allowed the price of the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C to drift downward in the name of remaining competitive against a tidal wave of cheap competitors. Will the iPhone 6 mark the first time Apple debuts a new flagship phone for less than $199? Either way, expect the highest capacity models to be priced north of $200.

Now that its competitors have matched the pixel density of Apple’s Retina Display screen technology, Apple is left with the challenge of developing a screen technology which legitimately goes beyond Retina. Some competitors have humorously offered pixels even more dense than Retina Display, whose “advantage” can’t be seen with the naked eye but sound great on paper to consumers who don’t know the difference. But Apple has resisted such hijinks, and will need to deliver an iPhone 6 with a new screen technology that goes beyond mere pixel density. Call it Retina Display Squared.

Phil Moore

Phil Moore

Phil covers tech for Stabley Times.