Apple is hinting that the release date for the iPad Air 2 and iPhone 6 may be centered around September 9th on the calendar. The company is running its annual summer educational promotion, in which college students can buy a current iPad, iPhone, or Mac and receive an Apple Store discount card along with it. The timing of the promo, which begins today, will only be of interest to students who are looking to buy now. But the end date of the promotion is or more interest to those who are waiting for the new models to arrive before making their purchases.
There has historically been some correlation to the end date of Apple’s annual education promotion and the release date of the next generation iPhone and iPad models. The reason is evident enough: Apple would prefer that college students not be able to use the promo to get a free $50 gift card when purchasing the new iPhone 6 or iPad Air 2, which will sell strongly enough at their launch that any such promotions would simply be giving away gift cards for no reason. So it’s a safe bet that Apple is planning to debut the new iPad and iPhone sometime shortly after the date it’s circled on the calendar for the end of the promotion.
The tricky part is in figuring out which one comes first. Since shifting its iPad release date to the fall in 2012, Apple has typically released the new iPad a few weeks to a month after the new iPhone. That points to the iPhone 6 release date coming shortly after the end of the student promotion on September 9th, and the iPad Air 2 coming in late September or early October. However CEO Tim Cook has shown some willingness to shake up Apple’s previously predictable annual refresh cycles for its mobile products.