by Matt Margolis
I have been closing tracking various activity in 2014 and comparing it to previous years’ activities to determine the likely launch date of the iPhone 6. I did a review of the news regarding production activity surrounding Apple’s supply chain almost 3 weeks ago and the resounding answer was pointing towards a June iPhone 6 launch date. All of the 2014 production activity, hiring, leaked images, carrier discounts are all tracking 3 months ahead of last year’s September iPhone 5s/5c launch.
Yesterday, 9to5mac’s Mark Gurman reported that, Apple plans on launching an “enormous” iPhone upgrade even this week to boost sales. The “enormous” trade-in event will help clear Apple’s shelves much like the program launched last September to clear out inventory of the iPhone 5 just weeks ahead of the iPhone 5s/5c launch. Apple’s trade-in program is designed to boost sales of soon to be legacy devices and more importantly to remove excess inventory ahead of the next flagship iPhone product launch. The 2014 trade-in program is just another confirmation that the iPhone 6 is just weeks away from launch.
Mark Gurman’s Comments from August 26th, 2013
Apple is beginning final preparations to launch an iPhone trade-in program in its retail stores by next month, according to sources with knowledge of the initiative. This trade-in program will allow customers that own earlier versions of the iPhone, such as the iPhone 4S, to bring the phone into an Apple Store and exchange it for a new iPhone model, like the iPhone 5, at a discounted price…
Apple is said to have originally planned to launch the iPhone trade-in program during the last week of July, but the program’s launch was pushed back for unspecified reasons.
Mark Gurman’s Comments from May 5th, 2014
This program blends nicely with Apple’s Apple Store-based iPhone hardware trade-in program, which allows customers to turn-in older iPhone models to purchase a new model at a discounted price. Apple, in recent weeks, has increased the buyback prices for iPhones in its trade-in-program, according to a source.
This event will be held in multiple states across the United States, and Apple is said to be preparing for an influx of visitors to its stores on the levels of traffic driven to stores for new product debuts. Apple will brief Apple Retail management on the initiative tomorrow, according to the source. Additionally, Apple is said to be readying various other new marketing and sales initiatives to improve the sales of the iPhone in its retail stores.
All of the data points I have examined indicate that the iPhone 6 launch is just weeks away and line up very nicely with the 2014 WWDC that is scheduled on June 2 through June 6 in San Francisco, CA. The recent announcement of Apple’s 2014 trade-in program just adds more fuel to what is already expected to be a very exciting iPhone 6 launch party.
Full Disclosure: I am long GTAT (Apple’s newest sapphire supplier)