The reported September 19 iPhone 6 release date seems all but confirmed as fresh signs emerged that Apple is already making preparations for the large-scale assembly of the upcoming handset's replacement that gets to see unpacking in 2015.
It appears now that volume production of the 2014 iPhones is either on its final phase or already completed, meaning bulk shipments could start in the next few days or weeks, as DigiTimes reported that Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) is gearing up this early to begin the manufacture of 16nm A9 processing chip.
Note that earlier reports have indicated that TSMC will supply the A9 CPU that will power next year's iPhones and iPads.
"TSMC will advance volume production on its 16nm process to the first quarter of 2015 with monthly output of 50,000 wafers in order to meet demand for Apple's A9 processors," DigiTimes said on its report.
If true that an A9 chip will find its way to the 2015 iPhone refresh, it is likely that the device will get the iPhone 6S label. This is line with Apple's smartphone branding convention that has been in effect since the iPhone 3GS was introduced.
The tech giant has consistently issued an 'S' edition following a major upgrade and redesign of its flagship device that saw the iPhone 4 in 2010 bumped up to the 4S in 2011. The iPhone 5 came out in 2012 and quite unexpectedly, the 5S debuted the following year.
As the iPhone 6 is very much anticipated to unbox in time for the third Friday of September 2014, Apple watchers can't help to speculate that the device that the A9 application processor is destined to fire up in 2015 will take the name iPhone 6S.
Yet before that and as mentioned above, the next iPhone launch looks on course for a timely arrival as JP Morgan said in a new research note that Apple's production and release calendars seem on schedule as of last check.
The investment firm, according to Apple Insider, also dismissed the likelihood of last-minute production glitch that could negatively impact on the supply and sales prospects of the iPhone 6 immediately after its commercial debut.
"We believe that initial supply could be slowed somewhat if there is any truth to this but we doubt that iPhone unit volumes in the fall are likely to be impacted," the JP Morgan report was quoted by Apple Insider as saying.
A separate report from the Apple-focused site showed too that Apple's manufacturing spending as of June 2014 significantly jumped, somehow sending out clear signals of bigger things to come in the second half of the year.
Lined up devices from the tech giant include the two iPhone 6 models, the iPad Air 2, the iPad Mini 3 and the iWatch. A number of analysts, however, have offered predictions that Apple's first wearable will not become available until the early months of 2015.
But the iPhone 6 release date should happen 10 days after its scheduled preview on September 9, which likely is exclusive for the 4.7-inch edition as the phablet-size 5.5-inch variant is not expected to arrive until December 2014.