Pencil in Sept. 9 for new iPhones

Unveiling event may also feature redesigned Apple TV

Apple's Volume Purchasing Program lets businesses bulk purchase and deploy apps on Apple devices.
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Apple will host its yearly iPhone event on Wednesday, Sept. 9, where it will unveil new smartphones and perhaps a revamped Apple TV, according to a report Friday.

"The company intends to hold a special event the week of Sept. 7, with Wednesday the 9th being the most likely date," said BuzzFeed's John Paczkowski, who when he was with Re/Code and before that, the Wall Street Journal's AllThingsD website, correctly pegged several years' worth of presentation dates.

Sept. 9 fits with previous iPhone cycles.

Apple unveiled the iPhone 5 on Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2012; the iPhone 5S and 5C on Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2013; and last year's iPhone 6 and 6 Plus on Tuesday, Sept. 9.

While Apple's timing has become predictable, a Wednesday event would be a day later in the week than the last two years.

Wednesday is more likely because of the late Labor Day holiday in the U.S., which falls on Sept. 7. Apple probably pushed the event back a day because of that holiday; if it had held it Tuesday, its own teams would have had to work on the off day to prepare, and the invited reporters and analysts would have had to travel on Labor Day. The same issue will also pop up in 2016.

Apple probably ran its iPhone 5 event on a Wednesday in 2012 to avoid the Sept. 11 anniversary of the 2001 terrorist attacks on New York City and Washington, D.C.

If Apple hews to its usual schedule, it will begin taking pre-orders on Friday, Sept. 11, and release the new devices into retail on Friday, Sept. 18.

The next available Tuesday for an unveiling, Sept. 15, would mean an on-sale date of Sept. 25, which is later than normal. By opening sales the week before, Apple will be able to book that many more units into its third quarter - which ends Sept. 30 -- an important consideration since the company generates the bulk of its revenue from the iPhone.

Because Apple introduced redesigned iPhones last year -- the 4.7-in. iPhone 6 and the 5.5-in. iPhone 6 Plus -- it's unlikely to change the form factor: The Cupertino, Calif. company tends to refresh the exterior of its smartphones every two years. The lack of widespread leaks of the size and shape of the new devices, those leaks largely driven by light-fingered workers at iPhone component makers, also points to a no-change year for the iPhone.

Apple will probably name the new devices by adding an "S" to the current names to make the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus. An alternative, the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, would be a departure for the firm, which increments the numeric part of the name every two years as well.

Also on the slate, according to Paczkowski and others, is a revamped Apple TV, the company's set-top box that has stuck with the same form factor since 2010, when then-CEO Steve Jobs unveiled a much smaller design. Apple TV speculation has centered around a slimmer case, the more powerful Apple-designed A8 SoC (system-on-a-chip) and support for Siri, the company's voice-driven search and personal assistant.

CEO Tim Cook and other Apple executives will almost certainly also talk about the Apple Watch next month, perhaps by further highlighting watchOS 2 and letting a few third-party developers strut their native apps crafted with the new SDK (software development kit).

Apple tends to begin its events at 10 a.m. PT (1 p.m. ET), and will probably live-streamthe hours-long presentation. Apple will not want to repeat the technical difficulties it had last year during the iPhone 6/6 Plus and Apple Watch event, when the webcast broke down under constant interruptions, black screens, failed audio, and what sounded like a Chinese translator talking in the background for almost a fourth of the webcast.


Copyright © 2015 IDG Communications, Inc.

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