iPhone 6 Launch: 10 Factors That Will Determine Its Success

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2014-08-07 Print this article Print

The iPhone 6 is scheduled to be unveiled Sept. 9, according to the latest reports. It's unclear what Apple will announce at the event, but it's believed that the company will at the very least show off the 4.7-inch model of the iPhone 6. Some rumors have suggested that Apple is also working on a 5.5-inch model slated to launch later this year. There is a lot riding on a successful launch of the iPhone 6. While the company might still be one of the world's most popular smartphone makers, it's also facing increasing competition from around the world. Companies like Samsung and LG are ready to take advantage of any shortcoming in the next iPhone generation. What's worse, Apple has been disappointing some smartphone buyers with hardware updates that weren't as "groundbreaking" as the company might like the market to believe. But Apple has an opportunity to change perceptions and boost its sales for the next several quarters with the iPhone 6 introduction. Here's a look at the factors that will determine whether the iPhone 6 has a successful launch.

  • iPhone 6 Launch: 10 Factors That Will Determine Its Success

    By Don Reisinger
    iPhone 6 Launch: 10 Factors That Will Determine Its Success
  • Screen Size Will Matter Greatly

    Apple has been hounded by concerns in the marketplace that its 4-inch display in the iPhone 5S is too small for today's consumers. Increasingly, according to the latest DisplaySearch data, consumers want devices with screens 4.5 inches or larger. That's why Apple will need to deliver a 4.7-inch screen. In addition, phablets with 5- or 6-inch screens are becoming more popular and hurting tablet sales. For Apple to let that go and not deliver a device with a 5.5-inch screen, seems like a bad idea.
    Screen Size Will Matter Greatly
  • Will There Be Any Defects to Work Out?

    Every other year, Apple launches a revamped design for its iPhone, making all early adopters excited and the enterprise jump in fright. Business buyers don't like the idea of buying dramatically revised products because they could come with some bugs. Apple will have to launch the devices with as few defects and kinks as possible to avoid any hitch in the sales uptake of the iPhone 6.
    Will There Be Any Defects to Work Out?
  • Battery Size Will Be a Huge Concern

    As of late, rumors have been flying about the size of Apple's new iPhone battery. Some have said it will have a capacity of around 1,800mAh, while others claim it'll be more in the range of 2,100mAh. Apple has been facing increasing pressure from Samsung in its "wall huggers" ad campaign, which highlights the Galaxy S5's better battery life. With greater capacity, Apple should be able to get closer to Samsung on battery life—assuming, of course, that it can get all of the internal components and bigger screen to consume less juice.
    Battery Size Will Be a Huge Concern
  • It's Time to Put the Cortana Comparisons to Bed

    Microsoft has been pelting Apple's Siri, showing the ways in which Cortana is superior for virtual personal assistant functionality. Apple needs to show off new and improved Siri functionality at the iPhone 6 introduction and illustrate how it's become smarter based on what the company has learned from years of user experience with the personal digital assistant. If it doesn't, the Cortana ads won't stop.
    It's Time to Put the Cortana Comparisons to Bed
  • New iPhone Must Beat What Samsung Has up Its Sleeve

    Samsung is holding its "Unpacked" event in New York City in early September, which should put even more pressure on Apple. Samsung is reportedly working on a new smartphone and more wearable devices to take on Apple's products. Apple better show off something better or face the possibility of looking like an also-ran against whatever Samsung shows off.
    New iPhone Must Beat What Samsung Has up Its Sleeve
  • Price Competition Is a Major Concern

    Although Apple isn't expected to change its pricing, the very fact that the company is charging several hundred dollars for an off-contract iPhone is troubling for customers in emerging markets. In China, for example, Xiaomi has been able to deliver a new device in the Mi 4 that's both better than Apple's iPhone in terms of specs and a few hundred dollars cheaper. In China and India—two major emerging markets—Apple will need to worry about its pricing.
    Price Competition Is a Major Concern
  • Can Apple Keep Up With Demand?

    There have been some reports recently suggesting that Apple's supply partners are having some trouble with yields. More, specifically, the new iPhone's heavy reliance upon sapphire has proven vexing for suppliers, and it was unclear at that point, according to researchers, whether Apple could have enough iPhones on store shelves as it wanted. Keeping up with demand has always been an Apple concern, but it might mean more this time around.
    Can Apple Keep Up With Demand?
  • Is the Demand as Strong as Apple Thinks?

    If we're talking about demand, we must also acknowledge that it's possible—just possible—that Apple's expectations for demand won't be as high as some have argued. As Samsung noted in its own earnings call recently, competition is fierce in the mobile space, and in key markets, staying atop the space isn't easy. Apple is facing that same competitive pressure. That could negatively impact demand if the iPhone isn't as groundbreaking as many believe it will be.
    Is the Demand as Strong as Apple Thinks?
  • Apple Needs to Get Loyal Fans to Upgrade

    Apple fans need to want to invest in new iPhones. While Apple has been doing a good job of bringing on new customers, getting its current owners to convert to the new iPhone hasn't been so simple. However, low turnover has occurred mainly in years when Apple has unveiled iterative updates and not benchmark years like the one expected in 2014. Still, it's something Apple will need to think about: As it brings on more iPhone owners, it needs to ensure they continue to invest in its products.
    Apple Needs to Get Loyal Fans to Upgrade
  • If There's a Smartwatch, Make the iPhone Integration Stellar

    It's widely believed that Apple will announce the long-rumored iWatch at its special event in September. Though that will be appealing to customers in its own right, it should also have special functionality with the new iPhone if Apple wants to sell more units of that device. Apple has always been a company that likes to coax people into buying new handsets by bundling special features only in its latest products. In order to build demand for the iPhone 6, it should follow that game plan with the iWatch integration.
    If There's a Smartwatch, Make the iPhone Integration Stellar
Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Gearlog.com. Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for CNET.com, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at http://twitter.com/donreisinger.

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