iPhone 6 release date: new iPhone Air coming on a Tuesday in summer

The iPhone 6 release date influences when consumers can upgrade to Apple’s next generation flagship smartphone, and the amount of time they’ll have to wait helps determine whether they go ahead and buy an existing iPhone such as the 5C or 5C in the mean time. Unfortunately for them, Apple is remaining as tight lipped about the iPhone 6 launch as ever, in the hopes of not putting too much of a damper on existing iPhone sales in the mean time. But for all its secrecy, the timing of Apple product releases is often predictable based on familiar patterns that emerge. And in such case, the earliest that the iPhone 6 release date can happen is Tuesday, August 5th, 2014. If that’s oddly specific, it’s for a reason.

In the first week of June, Apple will release beta test versions of the iOS 8 system software which will power the iPhone 6. With each new release cycle, developers have needed a minimum of two months to work their way through the bugs and incompatibilities, report them back to Apple, receive updated test versions, and get everything finalized. That points to early August as the earliest that Apple can feasibly schedule the iPhone 6 release date for. And since Apple holds its press events on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, that makes Tuesday August 5th the earliest anyone can expect to see the iPhone 6 emerge. It would then arrive in retail stores on Friday the 8th or 15th, as again, Apple loves to hold its on-sale days on Fridays. But there’s more.

Apple has, in some years, released its new iPhone as late as October. That means the iPhone 6 release date could stretch fairly far past the initial early August timeframe. But this time around Apple is under more pressure than usual to get the iPhone 6 to market, in order to begin fighting for customers who are dead set on getting a smartphone with a screen bigger than the four inches Apple currently maxes out at. So what other iPhone 6 features can users look forward to?

Size: This one is plainly simple. Competitors offer smartphones that are five inches or more, and while some users find that cumbersome, others are demanding that Apple do the same. Look for the iPhone 6 to come in a choice of four or five inches in order to keep everyone happy.

iOS 8: After completely redesigning the interface with iOS 7, Apple is now tasked with a followup in the form of iOS 8. The new system software won’t be exclusive to the iPhone 6, but they will debut at the same time, and the iPhone 6 will be the first new Apple product to ship with iOS 8 preinstalled. With longtime hardware designer Jon Ive now in charge of software interface design, iOS 8 can be counted on to offer visuals which match Apple’s hardware motifs even more tightly than was the case with his first attempt at synergy with iOS 7.

Colors: Apple dabbled with brightly colored smartphones with the iPhone 5C, with mixed results. The 5C has sold well enough, but the 5S has significantly outsold it. Is it the plastic design that’s scaring people away from the 5C, or is it merely the plastic body? With the iPhone 6, Apple may finally get around to incorporating primary colors like red and blue into its metal and acrylic body. But of all the items on this list, that feels like the least certain of the bunch. Still, the demand for a red metal iPhone has been there from day one, and despite Apple’s longtime partnership with PRODUCT RED, it still hasn’t happened – yet.

NFC: The near field technology has remained off Apple’s radar as other smartphone vendors have experimented with it over the past year. Now that NFC is coming into its own, expect Apple to take the plunge by adding it to the iPhone 6.

Siri 3.0: Siri is fun and useful when she works as intended, but Apple’s artificial intelligence based virtual assistant is growing long in the tooth. It’s time for the iPhone 6 to come with a more powerful and intelligent version, which Apple has no doubt been working on for some time.

Storage: Power users want an iPhone 6 with 128 GB of built in storage. Apple has already gone there with the iPad Air, so there’s every reason to expect it’ll do the same with the iPhone 6.

Phil Moore

Phil Moore

Phil covers tech for Stabley Times.