Apple has issued invitations for its Sept. 9 event, and we already know what the iPhone 6 models will look like for the most part, so now only one major question remains: When will the iPhone 6 actually hit stores?
Based on years past, the iPhone 6 will likely launch in stores on Friday, Sept. 19.
Since 2011, Apple has unveiled its new iPhones on a Tuesday, released the new mobile update that supports those devices that following Wednesday, and then launched the new handsets two days later on that Friday. This has been the case with the iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPhone 5S and 5C, and it’s expected to be the case with this year’s iPhone 6 as well.
So if the iPhone event is Tuesday, Sept. 9, iOS 8 should launch the following Wednesday (Sept. 17), and at least one new iPhone should drop on that Friday (Sept. 19).
The rationale: After introducing the new iPhone(s) — and reintroducing iOS — Apple likes to wait about a week and a half to drum up hype and allow for pre-orders, which usually go live the Friday before the public launch. With the iPhone event on Sept. 9, we can expect iPhone 6 pre-orders to go live on Friday, Sept. 12.
Apple traditionally releases the latest mobile operating system two days before the newest iPhone, which is always a big event in itself. Once Apple’s servers have handled a majority of the iOS updates, which usually happen in the 48 hours immediately after the new OS goes live, we can expect Apple to launch at least one new iPhone that Friday.
This particular schedule — unveiling the phone on a Tuesday, releasing the new iOS the following Wednesday, and launching the new iPhone(s) that Friday — has resulted in record-breaking opening sales weekends every year since 2011.
It’s widely assumed at this point that Apple will release two new iPhones this year, but a few earlier reports said the larger 5.5-inch iPhone was facing production issues and might be released later. However, the 4.7-inch iPhone by all accounts is ready to be shipped, so you can expect that phone to launch on Sept. 19, even if the larger 5.5-inch model doesn’t arrive for another week or two (or possibly another month).
Both new iPhones are expected to feature thinner and rounder form factors than the current iPhones, bigger and higher-res displays, speedier processors, and, for the first time, a near field communication (NFC) chip to allow for a new mobile-payments platform.