iPhone 7/6S release date and the Apple Watch: parallel lines

The Apple Watch will arrive in 2015, but will the iPhone 6S or iPhone 7 release date come with it? Apple made the rare move of showing off its new smart watch well before the product is ready to ship, something the secretive company usually goes to great lengths to avoid. Part of that was because it wanted to give developers enough time to deliver apps from day one. Another part is that Apple wants people to get excited and buy the iPhone 6 now so they can pair it with the Watch later. But is there more at play here, and can a new iPhone 7/6S really be expected in tandem with it?

First it’s vital to look at the manner in which Apple tends to handle its iPhone generations, and why that could be about to change. Early indications are that iPhone 6 sales are on their way to being twice that of the iPhone 5S. And while the larger size certainly has something to do with that, the major stylistic change can be seen as a contributing factor as well.

After four consecutive iPhones that more or less looked like each other, the iPhone 6 looks like a new product. The takeaway for Apple is to consider skipping any iPhone 6S plans for 2015 and move straight to the iPhone 7.

The catch: Apple Watch is, according to CEO Tim Cook himself, being targeted for a spring release. Apple would take some heat from current buyers if it launches a beefed up iPhone 6S in the spring, and that heat could turn into outright pandemonium if Apple launches the iPhone 7 in the spring after just six months of the iPhone 6 being the flagship product.

Whether Apple rolls with an iPhone 6S or 7 next, its release date won’t come before fall 2015. And so the only way the Apple Watch could be released in tandem is if its development is held up by unexpected problems – and that wouldn’t be a win for Apple or its customers.

Phil Moore

Phil Moore

Phil covers tech for Stabley Times.