Apple Earnings May Indicate iPhone 6 Release Date

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) may give clues about the release of its next premium smartphone, the iPhone 6, when it releases its earnings numbers for the three months through June on Tuesday afternoon. The company is extremely unlikely to make any overt reference to the upcoming smartphone, but Apple’s financial executives will have a hard time taking all of the details out of the company’s forward guidance.

It’s unlikely, however, that this afternoon’s results will show off anything about the company’s rumored wearable iWatch, or give much information about the expected release of a new iPad later this year. The wearable is unlikely to be released in the coming quarter, and the iPad is such a small part of the company’s revenue at this stage that any deviation in the company’s estimates are unlikely to stem from the performance of the tablet.

iPhone 6 Clues In The Cards

In this afternoon’s earnings report, Apple will show off its guidance for the current quarter, which it records as the fourth of its financial 2014. The company’s numbers will reveal something of the company’s release date for the iPhone 6. Given that Apple closes its current quarter on September 27, the company’s sales numbers will indicate whether the iPhone will release before or after that date. In recent years the iPhone launch has come several days before the end of the quarter, giving Apple time to book the iPhone’s opening weekend in what is normally a slow quarter for the company.

If revenue estimates for the quarter ahead are unreasonably low, and the company doesn’t try to explain it, it’s likely that the iPhone 6 will see a release date later on in 2014, possibly in October. Given that Apple has apparently had production problems in developing the iPhone 6, the company’s release of the device could be delayed by a significant period. Analysts are, according to most reports on the production problems, expecting the delays to hit the larger, 5.5 inch variant of the iPhone 6. That may cause Apple to release the variants on separate dates, with the larger iPhone 6 possibly delayed into next year.

Humdrum Earnings Expected From Apple

iPhone sales are increasingly drawn backward toward the release of the new iPhone, and the iPhone 6 is thought to be no different. Despite solid trends in iPhone demand throughout the third quarter, analysts are not expecting Apple to give any real surprises this afternoon. With no product launches, and anything of the sort still months away, the third and fourth quarters are usually predictable at Apple, and analysts are expecting an atmosphere reflecting that to reign this afternoon.

Analysts are, according to consensus numbers from Bloomberg, expecting the Cupertino company to show earnings of $1.23 per share on revenue totaling $38 billion. The numbers have been creeping upward throughout the quarter as the U.S. economy looks increasingly strong, corporate earnings have looked good across the board, and channel analysis by financial analysts show strong demand for the iPhone this year.

Disclosure: Author represents that he has no position in any stocks mentioned in this article at the time this article was submitted