Launching iPhone 6? Apple Wants All Hands on Deck in September


Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) has reportedly begun restricting employee time off for the end of the summer and the beginning of fall as the company prepares to launch the iPhone 6, as well as other rumored projects in the pipeline for the second half of 2014.

According to a report from German Apple news site seen and translated by AppleInsider, the company has started to limit time off for German retail employees in September, according to an insider source the site believes is trustworthy. AppleInsider pointed out that this is much earlier than Apple has previously restricted employee time off, as in the past the company has only done so weeks ahead of a product launch, not months. Whether this means the company has more products up its sleeve or is just planning ahead is uncertain for now.

Rumors suggest that Apple is going to have a busy second half of the year. The iPhone 6 is expected to come in two different larger screen sizes: 4.7 inch and 5.5 inch. The bigger version of the phone may be delayed due to rumored supply constraints, so consumers looking to get their hands on the biggest iPhone yet may end up waiting until close to the end of the year.

Aside from the next-generation iPhone, other rumored Apple releases for the year include the iOS 8 update that may grant split-screen capability to the iPad, a major upgrade for the Apple TV set-top box, and possibly the iWatch wearable device.

AppleInsider reports that if the company follows a similar launch schedule as it has in previous years, iOS 8 will be released in early June at the Worldwide Developers Conference, the new iPhones will be announced in September, and the revamped iPads will be released in October.

Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty has predicted that the iPhone 6 will outsell the iPhone 5S during its launch by 20 percent. Her checks with Apple’s suppliers have shown that the company is working to make sure there aren’t supply constraints at the launch of the iPhone 6, as were seen when the iPhone 5S was released last year. Huberty had originally predicted a 12 percent increase. Various reports have suggested that Apple is working to diversify its supply chain and rely less heavily on Foxconn for iPhone production in order to avoid such issues. One report from Taiwan said that Pegatron will be picking up 15 percent of the new iPhone’s production, as well as continuing to make iPhone 5 models. Historically, Foxconn would be solely responsible for new iPhone production.

As always, investors and Apple fans are clamoring to know exactly when the next-generation iPhone will be released. Last week, a new report from Taiwan said that the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 will be released in August, a month earlier than expected, while the 5.5-inch device will come out in September, as per usual. The report from Germany said that employees were only being asked to refrain from taking vacation days during September, but an August or a September launch would warrant such a request.

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