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Delaying an iPhone Model Works in Apple’s Favor

by Justin Herrick | September 4, 2018September 4, 2018 2:30 pm PDT

The new iPhone models are arriving later this month, but it doesn’t seem like all of them will be released together. Yet that might not be such a bad thing for Apple’s business even if it frustrates some customers for a moment.

Apple could be forced to put different release dates on the calendar as the 6.1-inch model gives suppliers a problem. Because it has LCD technology, there are some difficulties in getting the edge-to-edge display to curve in various spots without backlight leakage. The 5.8- and 6.5-inch models, however, are said to be doing just fine in production and should be released shortly after debuting.

From what we’ve heard so far, the duo with OLED technology is on track to be released in late September. The gap between Apple’s launch and the beginning of global sales would be about one week. It’s the 6.1-inch model that could get bumped out by a month or even more.

In the event a delay does actually happen for the budget-friendly iPhone, all three models would benefit. It wouldn’t spell trouble for Apple in the slightest. Apple already went down this road before, and this time in particular, actually, makes the situation appealing.

Think about how this went for the iPhone X. Last year, Apple failed to release the most advanced iPhone ever on time because its suppliers struggled with the TrueDepth camera system. Did that come back to haunt the iPhone X in any dramatic capacity? Probably not, and that’s because we’re talking about a company with incredible brand loyalty.

If Apple says you should wait, you should wait. This company wouldn’t ship a subpar product for the sake of keeping up with its tradition of September releases.

The iPhone X was bruised, not wounded, by supply constraints. Even then, Apple’s Q4 2017 earnings report wasn’t exactly disappointing. It amassed nearly $11 billion in profit during that quarter. Apple saw surging sales during the iPhone X’s first full quarter on the market, too.

Just as the iPhone 8 did for over a month in 2017, the 5.8- and 6.5-inch models would carry their own weight. It’s especially nice for Apple that these are the two ‘better’ models with OLED displays and convexed edges. Since there are consumers who don’t want to wait for Apple’s latest and greatest, they’ll dive right in for what’s available no matter the price. You get a new iPhone, Apple gets a fatter bottom line. Everyone wins.

Apple’s biggest advantage, though, would be the shadow a delayed iPhone casts over the competition during a pivotal season in the mobile industry.

For others, the final months of 2018 look familiar. Samsung has released the Galaxy Note 9, and Google is expected to introduce the Pixel 3 sometime in October. Both companies normally make major announcements on opposite sides of Apple’s annual iPhone unveiling.

The story won’t change for Samsung despite its Galaxy Note series getting an earlier-than-usual update this year. Following the Galaxy Note 9 getting all the attention, our eyes have shifted to the new iPhone models.

Toss in another iPhone release closer to the holidays, and Samsung’s barrage of year-ending promotions doesn’t seem like a trusted safeguard anymore.

As for Google, there should be some worry coming out of Mountain View. The last two Pixel phones were released in mid-October. Based on the latest rumors, Apple’s 6.1-inch model will join the mix later that month. These two should have near-identical pricing, and the average consumer will pick the iPhone over the Pixel more times than not.

By holding the 6.1-inch model until late October or early November, Apple affords itself the opportunity to jump back into the headlines and push the competition aside. TechnoBuffalo and an endless number of media outlets would dedicate wall-to-wall coverage to it. More coverage for Apple leads to less coverage for everyone else, in theory.

Apple typically only gets itself back into the spotlight for comparisons and blunders, but this could usher in a second wave of all-iPhone chatter. And all because suppliers couldn’t meet the Cupertino-based company’s demands.

The idea of waiting is never fun. But in this case, you could settle for the 5.8- or 6.5-inch models. Actually, that’s not really settling. You’d just play into Apple’s not-so-bad situation where the only new iPhone models available for a few weeks (or months) are the more advanced, most expensive choices.


Justin Herrick

Justin is easily attracted to power buttons. His interest in technology started as a child in the 1990s with the original PlayStation, and two...

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