A new report indicates that the iPhone 7 release date rumors may not be accurate at all, as it may not be coming out this year at all. Instead, Apple may announce the iPhone 6SE in September, validating months of leaks that left fans underwhelmed.
Forbes shared a report from German website Apfelpage that said that Apple’s newest phones will be called the iPhone 6SE and the iPhone 6SE Plus. This would make sense, as most of the rumors to date have shown only minor tweaks and changes from the 6S and 6S Plus models. Though many consumers were hoping to hear about an iPhone 7 release date this fall, it looks even more likely that all they’ll get is a slightly updated version of the 6S.
This news would make sense in a lot of ways. First of all, leaked reports from reliable sources have been indicating that there are not many big changes coming this year to the iPhone. Typically, this year in the iPhone cycle would have been the year for a new model (think iPhone 7), because the year following an S model normally sees a new design, upgraded features, etc. But with most of the rumors hinting at only minor physical changes and the removal of the headphone jack, it was looking like this year’s model would just be a refresh.
Additionally, other rumors were already looking ahead to next year, wondering what Apple would do for the iPhone’s 10th anniversary. The release cycle was a bit off, considering next year would have been an “S” year in their current flow, and not really the sort of announcement that would make a big splash. But Apple releasing only a refreshed version of the 6S would allow them to make a splash with bigger and more innovative changes for next year.
But will this approach hurt Apple in the short term? With most consumers still on a two-year cycle for upgrading their phones, will they feel burned without news of an iPhone 7 release date? In many ways, the 6SE would likely look, feel, and operate very similar to the 6S and 6S Plus models. It would have upgraded internals and a better camera, but how many consumers care about those details? Traditionally, this year would mark the year of big design changes. Two years ago, for example, Apple unveiled the 6S and 6S Plus models, which was Apple’s first step into the large-screen smart phone era. Two years prior to that, Apple finally gave in to consumers demanding a larger screen by upgraded the traditional 3.5-inch screen to a 4-inch screen for the iPhone 5.
On the off years, Apple traditionally has refreshed the core models with faster internals, a better camera, and other small tweaks and changes to make the phone even better. So if this latest rumor is true, what consumers will get with an iPhone 6SE release is little more than a slightly faster version of the 6S. Will that be enough to entice consumers?
Though Apple shares are up over the last month, the last year as seen a steady drop, indicating investors are uncertain about the direction Apple is headed. A recent report by CNBC even warned investors to sell their shares in Apple, citing, “fewer customers than expected will upgrade to the upcoming iPhone 7.”