iPhone 4S ▪ August 27

AAPL: 112.92

3.23
Stock Chart

Screenshot 2015-08-27 08.42.58

While Apple will unveil a pair of next-generation iPhones at its September 9th event, the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus, don’t expect a new 4-inch “iPhone 6c” to show up on stage. Sources say that while Apple has been working on a new 4-inch iPhone with the capabilities of last year’s iPhone 6, the device is not yet ready to ship. Interestingly, Apple has also internally prototyped a new, smaller iPhone with a 3.5-inch display, the same size of the iPhone’s screen from the first model in 2007 to the iPhone 4S in 2011, but it does not appear that the company plans to move forward with actually releasing such a device.

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iPhone 4S ▪ August 11

AAPL: 119.72

4.20
Stock Chart

Every time Apple is expected to release an S-series iPhone — the 3GS, the 4S, the 5s, and now the 6S — pundits rush to discount the value of each anticipated new feature, claiming that it won’t be enough to boost iPhone sales. Yet historically, every prediction of iPhone sales peaks or declines has been wrong: each iPhone, whether a big “tick” or small “tock” on Apple’s upgrade schedule, has outsold its predecessors. Even without form factor or screen changes, speed sold the iPhone 3GS, Siri boosted the 4S, and Touch ID and camera improvements helped the 5s. (In S years, improved distribution, new color options, and price and capacity tweaks have made a big difference, too.)

This week, analysts and pundits have co-opted my colleague Mark Gurman’s scoop that Force Touch on the iPhone 6S will be used for shortcuts across iOS, suggesting that Force Touch isn’t going to be exciting enough to make people upgrade. That’s true, but also so obvious as to be ridiculous: Apple certainly won’t pitch a pressure-sensitive screen as the iPhone 6S’s marquee new feature. Force Touch debuted in the Apple Watch, but it’s not even mentioned on the first Apple Watch page on Apple.com, instead showing up in the fifth paragraph of the “Technology” page. It’s similarly found only paragraphs down on the page of the 12″ MacBook where it made its Mac debut.

With the notable exception of the iPad mini 3, Apple never releases new devices with only one new feature to hook customers. Even a month before it’s announced, it’s a virtual certainty that the iPhone 6S will arrive with camera improvements and faster processors, most likely a new color option, and Force Touch as one of many small but nice additions. So long as Apple gets distribution and international pricing right, the iPhone 6S is going to do just fine…

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iPhone 4S ▪ June 1

A man holds a new Apple iPhone 5S next to his iPhone 5 at an Apple Store at Tokyo's Ginza shopping district

For the month of June, Apple is giving a small boost to its trade-in price values for the iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, and iPhone 5S, according to Apple Store sources. Using the Reuse and Recycle program, a customer can bring in an older iPhone model and receive gift card credit toward the purchase of a newer iPhone. Likely in order to spur some new iPhone sales this month, Apple is offering the following improvements to its trade-in pricing:

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iPhone 4S ▪ April 3

Apple’s upcoming retail overhaul for displaying the Watch

A lot of my techie friends are saying that the entry priced-Apple Watch Sport will be their pick next month, and not because of the exterior look. The theory is that Sport is the cheapest way to experience Apple’s new product category in 2015, and since the second-gen Apple Watch will inevitably be upgraded, why pay a premium this year for nicer materials such as stainless steel and sapphire glass?

Despite the Apple Watch’s desire to marry jewelry with technology, it hasn’t lost the baggage gadgets carry, namely the reality that they’ll be outdated and replaced in a relatively short period of time. If the Apple Watch evolves anything like the original iPad did when it became the iPad 2, the differences could be dramatic.

Personally, when I think about getting more perceived value out of a higher-priced stainless steel Apple Watch rather than testing the waters with the cheaper aluminum model, I’m more concerned with how soon the Apple Watch 2 will be announced rather than how much more functional the newer device could be. No matter what happens with the first-generation model, an Apple Watch 2 will come to market. How will Apple balance keeping the Apple Watch evolutionary momentum going with keeping the first-generation model “modern” for enough time to satisfy early adopters?

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iPhone 4S ▪ December 4, 2014

iPhone 4S ▪ November 17, 2014

iOS 8.1.1Apple has released iOS 8.1.1, a minor update to last month’s iOS 8.1 release for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. The public release for iOS 8.1.1 follows a beta release to members of Apple’s developer program. Last month Apple released iOS 8.1 which introduced Apple Pay support for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus users as well as the iCloud Photo Library public beta.

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