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iPhone 6 to increase AT&T sales substantially according to analysts

iPhone 5 and Samsung Note showing difference in screen size
iPhone 5 and Samsung Note showing difference in screen size
Susan J. Walker

AT&T is poised to profit in the fourth quarter of 2014 as Apple releases the next iPhone, according to analysts quoted in this FierceWireless.com article dated Sept. 2. Analysts from Jeffries are predicting that AT&T's sales of postpaid devices will increase 36% over 2013's fourth quarter, and that iPhone 6 will drive this increase. Postpaid sales are sales that allow customers to get the phone under a plan such as AT&T's Next plan which requires the customer to pay a percentage of the phone's cost each month for the first year or two after signing the contract. That's a better deal for AT&T than the old 24 month plans that have the customer pay about $200 for a new iPhone and sign a 2-year commitment with AT&T or another carrier, because AT&T (or the other carrier) subsidizes about $450 of the phone's cost up front under those plans.

Media have been buzzing with rumors and a few facts about the next iPhone which Apple will most likely announce at a media event set for Sept. 9 in Cupertino, California. Apple hasn't announced anything official and has not even indicated whether smartphones will be covered at the upcoming event.

Some new, interesting photos appeared earlier on MacRumors.com, who published high-quality photos of the casing for the 4.7 inch iPhone, listing Feld & Volk, an after-market iPhone casing manufacturer, as the source. Some of the best photos of iPhones have come from noted tech leaker Sonny Dickson. His photos from last month show large iPhone shells in colors that are very similar to those of the iPhone 5s: gold, silver and space gray. Dickson has a good track record for leaking accurate photos of iPhone parts: he publicized pictures with the correct colors of the iPhone 5c last summer, months before Apple announced anything official. Here are more high points of the iPhone 6 rumors circulating now.

Leaked photos have shown 4.7 inch and 5.5 inch iPhone screens for several weeks. The leaked photos and videos indicate the new iPhone will have rounded edges and a thinner profile than iPhone 5s. One rumor states that only the 4.7 inch phone is coming out in September and that production on a 5.5 inch model is not happening in time for the September release.

Some rumors indicate that Apple may raise the price of the next iPhone above the $200 price that's been in place new iPhones for the last 4 years. That seems unlikely given the heavy discounting that's taken place on iPhone 5s since before Christmas. Even if Apple loads the default version of the iPhone with more storage and other features, it isn't likely that a higher price will stay in place for long. In competitive environments, technology prices typically go down over time, not up.

MacRumors also gave us the bad news way back on July 7 that iPhone's battery life will only improve slightly with the next iPhone. Apparently the specs are available from factories in China and the battery just isn't likely to last much longer than the one in the iPhone 5s today. This is disappointing as many other phones offer options with substantially longer battery life.

The iPhone's weight decreased noticeably from iPhone 4 to iPhone 5. The competing Droids such as Samsung Galaxy 5s are lighter than iPhone 5. We expect Apple to lighten the iPhone 6 product.

That the new iPhone will have a faster processor than the current models is a certainty. Microchip capability continues to get faster, cheaper, smaller and lighter every year. The newest Androids are faster than iPhone 5s.

Last year the iPhone 5c and 5s were in stores by Sept. 20. Two years ago Apple announced iPhone 5 on Sept. 12 and released it shortly thereafter. So Sept. 15th is a reasonable guess for the next iPhone's availability date.

Early on there was speculation that the newest iPhone might be named the iPhone Air. Virtually all the media speculation refers to the device as the iPhone 6 now. Again, Apple has said nothing official about the product or its name yet.

After it's launched, expect to see the new iPhone at these retail outlets: Cleveland-area Apple retail stores at Crocker Park in Westlake and at Legacy Village in Lyndhurst, Akron's Apple store at Summit Mall, plus AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile Best Buy, Walmart, Target and Radio Shack stores.