Apple, Inc. Set to Unveil iPhone 6 on Sept. 9

A report from re/code suggests that the iPhone 6 will be unveiled on Sept. 9. Here's why this might be the most important iPhone launch in Apple's history.

Aug 7, 2014 at 1:30PM

After much brouhaha surrounding a potential delay of Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone 6 into October, re/code came out with a report suggesting that Apple will be holding an iPhone special event on Sept. 9. Given that re/code has typically been a reliable source for such announcements, consumers and investors alike should prepare themselves for the unveiling of what is perhaps the most important iPhone since the original back in 2007.

Apple launched a revolution with iPhone
When Apple launched the original iPhone, there wasn't anything quite like it. iOS transformed the way that consumers interacted with cell phones, and the App Store unleashed an unprecedented wave of developer creativity. Apple turned the smartphone into a legitimate handheld computer, rather than a phone with a few awkward additional functions tacked on.

It was groundbreaking.

Samsung goes huge, while Apple sticks to small displays
However, as is traditionally the case in the world of high tech, Apple had a monopoly neither on the general iPhone concept nor on good ideas. Samsung (NASDAQOTH:SSNLF), which today is nearly as profitable as Apple, has relentlessly rolled out one smartphone model after another in a bid to find the "next big thing."

Samsung, with its Galaxy S line of phones, has seen immense success. One of the key points of differentiation for Samsung's Galaxy S line of phones is that Samsung has pursued larger display sizes than Apple has. To illustrate, let's compare Galaxy S display sizes with those found on their iPhone contemporaries:

Year

Apple

Samsung

2010

3.5 inches (iPhone 4)

4.0 inches (Galaxy S)

2011

3.5 inches (iPhone 4s)

4.3 inches (Galaxy S2)

2012

4.0 inches (iPhone 5)

4.8 inches (Galaxy S3)

2013

4.0 inches (iPhone 5s)

5.0 inches (Galaxy S4)

2014

4.7 inches (iPhone 6)

5.1 inches (Galaxy S5)

While Apple's iPhone has done remarkably well even without a large screen offering, even Apple has acknowledged that the lack of a larger-screen iPhone in its product lineup is an issue -- most notably in an internal presentation slide that became public. 

Want

The now infamous "customers want what we don't have" slide. Source: Apple via iphonehacks.com.

With iPhone 6, Apple could remedy its biggest problem -- the lack of a larger screen.

Bigger, in this case, is probably better
Given that Apple has been able to capture a significant portion of the high-end smartphone market even without a larger screen, it's natural to assume that there is some non-trivial part of the market that would switch from Android and/or Samsung if Apple were to introduce a larger-screen iPhone.

Admittedly, it is very difficult to tell just how much market share Apple will gain with a larger-screen phone, and therein lies the big uncertainty ahead of the iPhone 6 rollout. However, there have been a number of very encouraging data points in surveys done by a number of firms.

More market share; higher selling prices
A good set of data points came from a survey done by RBC Capital Markets. Of 4,000 consumers surveyed, about 50% of them intended to purchase iPhones as their next upgrade, implying that half expected to go with other vendors.

That's already impressive, but according to that same survey, of the users who did not intend to purchase an iPhone as their next smartphone, 35% of them indicated they would do so if Apple made the screen larger.

It gets even better, though: In that same survey, 26% of those customers indicated that they would be willing to pay a $100 premium for a 5.5-inch iPhone. Given that the incremental manufacturing costs of a 5.5-inch iPhone are unlikely to come even close to $100, this is additional potential margin gravy for Apple.

Now, note that this was just one survey, but the sentiment here is clear: Apple would be selling more iPhones, potentially even at higher price points, if it would just equip them with larger displays!

Foolish bottom line
Since screen size is a relatively easy problem to solve -- Apple has already solved the "tough" problems like putting together world-class product teams and an arguably unparalleled brand -- it stands to reason that this should be a pretty easy "slam dunk" for Apple.

However, the big question for Apple investors is just what the magnitude of the iPhone 6-fueled growth will look like and how much of it is baked into the current share price. 

In other words: Sept. 9 can't come quickly enough. 

Leaked: Apple's next smart device (warning, it may shock you)
Apple recently recruited a secret-development "dream team" to guarantee its newest smart device was kept hidden from the public for as long as possible. But the secret is out, and some early viewers are claiming its everyday impact could trump the iPod, iPhone, and the iPad. In fact, ABI Research predicts 485 million of this type of device will be sold per year. But one small company makes Apple's gadget possible. And its stock price has nearly unlimited room to run for early-in-the-know investors. To be one of them, and see Apple's newest smart gizmo, just click here!

Ashraf Eassa has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Apple. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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