With Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone 5 almost seven months old now, the tech world is busy churning out rumors about the next iteration of the company's flagship smartphone, which has been unofficially dubbed the iPhone 6 or the iPhone 5S.
No matter what Apple finally decides to name its next-generation iPhone model, let’s call it the iPhone 6 for the time being for convenience sake. So what’s up with the so-called iPhone 6 rumor mill?
This time it's a Twitter-originated rumor relating to the iPhone 5 that has spawned speculation that the Cupertino, Calif.-based tech giant’s upcoming smartphone model could arrive sooner than expected.
The rumor has it that one of the top U.S. carriers, Verizon, will offer a $100 discount on the iPhone 5 by middle of this month. This leads some to believe that a new iPhone version is on its way, and Verizon is looking to clear out inventory to accommodate the newcomer.
The rumor has come from @evleaks, a well-known anonymous source of technology rumors and leaks on Twitter, which has a good track record in gadget scoops.
“Upcoming Verizon promotion: $100 off iPhone 5 beginning mid-month,” @evleaks tweeted.
If the $100 discount on the iPhone 5 proves to be true, Verizon customers will be able to purchase an entry-level 16GB version of the iPhone 5 for just $99 with a two-year contract. But there are no more details as to whether the promotion will be a permanent one or just a temporary move.
“It's a growing trend with carriers,” a Business Insider report said. “AT&T will give you $100 off a new smartphone, including the iPhone 5, if you trade in your current device. Sprint will give you $100 off several phones like the iPhone 5 and Samsung Galaxy S4 if you switch from another carrier.”
When it comes to the next iPhone release, it’s still hard to predict anything. As a report over at SlashGear rightly said, “Verizon could just be doing this for giggles, without even knowing about a new iPhone coming.”
However, the report did not completely dismiss the rumor, saying “it’s also possible that Big Red needs to quickly clear some of its inventory to make way for something new.”
Next iPhone Parts Reportedly Arrive In Chinese Factories
Meanwhile, Apple-oriented blog Patently Apple (via TechRadar) reported Monday that parts and components for the next iPhone model had arrived at Chinese manufacturers, suggesting an early device launch.
Citing “a new Chinese report,” the report said it normally takes a couple of months for the production process to reach the assembly phase for electronic manufacturing services, “which would translate to assembling the next iPhone beginning in early July.”
“The implication in all of this is that Apple has moved up its parts deliveries so that it can launch the next iPhone earlier than the traditional annual September release it stuck to in the past,” a TechRadar report said.