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Prepare to Wait a Little Longer for the iPhone 6?


Despite speculation that the iPhone 6 might make a summer debut, Apple's sapphire display supplier suggests a fall release.

For the first four iPhone models, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) kept a regular summer release schedule for the latest versions of its smartphone line. But ever since the October release of the iPhone 4S in 2011, Cupertino hasn't introduced a new iPhone to the public until the time when the leaves start to change.

However, there has been speculation that Apple might bump the release of the iPhone 6 back up to the summer, or even spring -- perhaps even as soon as May. Unfortunately, a recent announcement by one of Apple's suppliers quashes that theory and plants the iPhone 6's likely debut in the fall.

In a recent financial report, GT Advanced Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ:GTAT) -- Apple's new sapphire crystal component producer for displays -- announced it expected a major revenue boost in the second half of the year, pointing to a later iPhone debut.

"The company expects that 2014 will be a transformational year, one in which it builds a sapphire materials business while continuing to invest in the new technologies that will drive its equipment business in 2015 and beyond," the report states. "The company expects that revenue and profitability will be back-end loaded, with its sapphire materials business ramping as the year progresses, and with improving financial performance during the second half of 2014."

The key phrase here is "back end loaded"; it indicates that the lion's share of revenue and profit will occur in the later part of the year.

Fans and analysts alike were hoping for a sooner release date for the iPhone 6 -- the former, obviously, excited to nab the latest and greatest from Apple as soon as possible. But analysts, having grown weary from the incremental updates Apple has given its existing product lines without introducing a new kind of device, say Cupertino can't afford to keep biding its time with new models. Whereas Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) has stolen headlines with a bevy of new products in recent years, Apple's status as the industry's leading innovator has already begun to fade.

While there's always the possibility of Apple whetting fans' rabid appetites in the coming months by debuting a smartwatch or overhauled Apple TV, iPhone users will just have to be patient and expect the usual fall upgrade.

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