Apple has informed its retail employees that they can’t take vacation days in September, but is it for the iPhone 6 release date or the launch of the iPad Air 2? With Apple having shifted all of its iDevice launch cycles to the late summer and fall over the past two years, it’s now left juggling the rollouts. Last year the iPhone 5S and 5C showed up in September, while the iPad Air arrived a month later in October. But that doesn’t mean the September vacation date blackout in September 2014 is for the iPhone 6 launch. In fact, the iPhone 6 release date could come much sooner.
The decision to block out dates in September means that Apple has settled on launching at least one new major product in that month. But that’s more likely to be the iPad Air 2, for a few reasons. One is that Apple is in no hurry when it comes to its iPads, as they’re still by far the most popular tablet brand on the market. The other is that Apple doesn’t tie the release of its new iPads to that of its new iOS software versions. So Apple can lock in the iPad Air 2 release date now, something it can’t do nearly as easily with the iPhone 6.
Apple is under pressure to get the iPhone 6 to market sooner than later, thanks to the increasing pressure from Android based competitors which have been taking advantage of Apple’s lack of a phone bigger than four inches. So there is no reason for Apple to conservatively lock the iPhone 6 in for September release date already. There’s also the variable of how long iOS 8 development and beta testing will ultimately take, and Apple’s desire to ship the iPhone 6 and iOS 8 simultaneously. Throw in all of those factors, and it’s difficult to conceive of Apple already putting vacations on hold for specific dates in September for something as uncertain as the iPhone 6 launch.
And if Apple is pegging the iPad Air 2 for September, that suggests it has ambitious plans to try to get the iPhone 6 to market sooner, as the company makes a point of not launching a new iPhone and a new iPad in the same month. So while uncertainty still rules when it comes to the iPhone 6 release date, this is the best sign yet that Apple is hoping to try to deliver the new phone in August or even sooner.