With word leaking that Apple is apparently plotting an iPhone-related media event on Sept. 9, rival Samsung appears poised to beat Apple to press with its own "Unpacked" event six days earlier, where it is expected to unveil its next-generation jumbo-sized Note smartphone.
Invitations were sent out to the press this week asking journalists to "note the date" of Sept. 3, when Samsung is set to host an event simultaneously in Berlin, Beijing and New York. It's expected that the company's stylus-driven "Note 4" phablet-style device will be formally introduced.
The timing is interesting not only because it falls less than a week before Apple is rumored to introduce its next-generation iPhone, but also because it's expected that Apple will also get into the "phablet" market with a new 5.5-inch iPhone model this year.
Such a move would position a so-called "iPhone Plus" with a jumbo-sized 5.5-inch display squarely against Samsung's Galaxy Note series. The current Galaxy Note 3 was unveiled at IFA Berlin last year and features a 5.7-inch display, and rumors have suggested this year's "Note 4" will feature an identical screen size.
Both the 4.7- and 5.5-inch "iPhone 6" variants are rumored to be unveiled at Apple's Sept. 9 event. The company has historically made its latest iPhone available to own the following Friday, which would suggest a launch date of Sept. 19 this year.
But recent reports have claimed that Apple may be facing some issues in building the 5.5-inch model, suggesting that it might see a slight delay until after the 4.7-inch version becomes available. If that were to happen, it wouldn't be unprecedented: Last year, initial production issues with the new iPad mini with Retina display led that second-generation device to go on sale 10 days after the iPad Air. Any apparent issues were quickly resolved, however, as supply of the new iPad mini remained steady through the holidays.
As for Samsung's anticipated fourth-generation Galaxy Note, some rumors have claimed it will have a more "premium" feel, using metal in its outer construction much like Apple's current iPhone lineup. It's expected to come with a minimum of 32 gigabytes of storage, and may feature built-in water resistance like the Galaxy S4.
As for release schedule, last year Samsung unveiled the Galaxy Note 3 at a high-profile event on Sept. 4, but the device didn't actually go on sale until Sept. 25. If the South Korean electronics maker keeps that same schedule, it's possible that the Galaxy Note 4 could be announced before Apple's "iPhone 6" lineup, but would not actually hit the market until Apple's latest offering is already in customers' hands.