‘Large-Screen’ iPhone 6 on Release Date Excites Analysts but Give Mixed Projections on 2014 Debut of 1st iOS Phablet – Report

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By Erik Pineda | January 3, 2014 12:49 PM EST

Analysts are almost certain that Apple is going big on 2014, virtually confirming the rumoured iPhone 6 release date, which is projected to happen anytime between June and September this year.

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iPhone 6 Concept Image

For Brian White of Cantor Fitzgerald, the banner product from the tech giant on the current year is the successor to the iPhone 5S, which is believed to sport a larger screen profile, radically departing from the 4-inch that was seen in the last two iPhone versions - the iPhone 5 in 2012 and the 5S that entered the market in the last quarter of 2013.

The iPhone 6 is expected to generate positive ripple effects for Apple, White said in his latest research note, adding that new products from the company combined with new market territories would accelerate growth.

Of particular focus is China via the tech titan's recently-sealed deal with China Mobile, which is regarded as the largest telco in the world. The Chinese network service provider counts more than 700 million as active subscribers.

Clearly, just a fraction of these Chinese consumers getting their hands on Apple products like the new iPhone and the 2014 iPad line up will boost the company's projected sales in 2014, the analyst said on its report.

"For 2014, we expect Apple to enter new product categories, re-accelerate growth in China and deepen its offerings in existing categories," White told Apple Insider.

He added that the impeding rollout of a bigger iPad, a 13-inch hybrid as some reports suggest, and the much-speculated iWatch will likely serve as solid growth engines for Apple.

However, a wider Apple product portfolio will not necessarily redound to the company's advantage, according to a separate assessment issued by Wells Fargo and picked up by Apple Insider.

While the iPhone 6 is considered a hit product for Apple this early, Wells Fargo aired concerns that the first iOS phablet could significantly cut into the company's profit margins.

The investment firm also pointed to the winding down subsidies that U.S. telcos have been providing to consumers. Once the plan runs its full course, device makers would surely feel the pinch and Apple is not immune from the ill-effects of weakening smartphone demand, at least in the United States, as a direct result of more expensive handset retail price.

Wells Fargo forecasted that Apple will close out 2013 by clearing some 55 million iPhones and 24 million iPads. Still, the company slapped the company with a downgrade, somehow mirroring Apple's roller-coaster performance at the stock market for the most part of 2013.

Despite the not-too-rosy assessment from Wells Fargo, Cantor Fitzgerald is convince that 2014 will be a headline year for Apple products with the looming release of what are touted as game-changers - the smartwatch iWatch, the 12.9-inch iPad Pro that likely will replace the MacBook Air and the giant-screen iPhone 6.

Release date of the iPhone 6 is seen to play out in the last quarter of 2014 but some analysts insist that the device would come out as early as June of the same, showcasing a 5-inch screen that highlights emphasis on one-hand use.

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iPhone 6 Concept Image
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