New iPhone 6 release date 2014 vs Samsung’s plastic wars

The iPhone 6 release date marks a turning point in Apple’s smartphone lineup, forced by its own hand thanks to the introduction of the plastic based iPhone 5C alongside last year’s flagship iPhone 5S phone. For the first time, instead of merely sliding the previous model on down to a lower price point, Apple killed off the iPhone 5 and added a new mid-range model aimed at a younger audience – and for the first time Apple also attempted to tap into the plastics used mostly by rival Samsung on the Galaxy S5 and its other smartphones. The results have been a mixed bag. Now Apple must decide whether to continue the plastics experiment with an iPhone 6C alongside the new flagship iPhone 6, and it needs to decide fast, as the iPhone 6 release date countdown clock is ticking and fast.

Apple’s lesson for the iPhone 6 release date is that while the iPhone 5C sold fairly poorly, the more expensive iPhone 5S has set sales records – in fact it’s still the number one selling smartphone in the world according to Counterpoint, despite being about nine months old, outselling newer competing phones released just a couple months ago.

Is that because people are being lured into Apple Stores by the promise of the inexpensive 5C, only to upsell themselves to the 5S? Or are iPhone sales at an all time high in spite of the unappealing 5C? That’s the riddle Apple must solve when it comes to the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6C.

The iPhone 6 release date will deliver an all new design and styling for the first time in four years, as Apple’s last four smartphone generations all physically resembled each other, save for different color metals and ever thinner and taller bodies.

The path of least resistance for the iPhone 6 era is to slide the 5S to the mid range price point and the 5C to the free with contract realm, and call it day. The premise in which the 5C causes customers to talk themselves into the pricier iPhone 6 or 5S would then remain in play.

But if Apple is more serious about reaching low-budget customers, it could ditch the 5x models entirely and use the iPhone 6 release date to also introduce a more stripped down and colorful iPhone 6C model. The catch: the 5C colors didn’t appeal to anyone over the age of twenty-five, and the sales patterns suggest that even youthful buyers mostly leaned toward the 5S. So if Apple is to try again with a 6C, the colors will need to be toned down from their current neon “United Colors of Benetton” theme.

Assuming Apple ditches the long running black-white-silver-gold motif for the iPhone 6 in favor of something different, the 6C could in turn adopt those by now played-out color schemes. But some of them may be difficult to pull off in plastic – Samsung’s attempts at greyscale Galaxy S5 models reveal that plastic doesn’t work in all colors. In any case, we won’t have to wait long to find out what Apple has up its sleeve.

As for the iPhone 6 release date itself, Apple’s last three new iPhone generations have each arrived in September or October. Apple could bump that up to August if manufacturing and materials allow for it, but the continued strong sales of the 5S mean Apple isn’t in as much of a hurry as its ever-grumbling naysayers have suggested. That makes September the most obvious target for the iPhone 6 release date.

Phil Moore

Phil Moore

Phil covers tech for Stabley Times.