A photo that allegedly shows people putting touch screens on the iPhone 5 may be proof the phone's release date is impending.
The photo, which was reported by blog CultofMac, was allegedly taken at a WinTek production facility in China. It is definitely not full proof. The image, which originally came from Chinese site Sina Weibo (In Chinese), is hazy and it is unclear what phone is being put together. It might not even be an iPhone (although it looks like one). Also, CultofMac (or any other blog that posted the picture) failed to cite any kind of source.
Still, if it is in fact the iPhone, it could mean the phone's release date is coming sooner rather than later. Numerous sources, including analysts, blogs and insiders, have speculated the iPhone 5will be released in either September or October. Various media outlets like The Wall St. Journal and DigiTimes as well as analysts like RBC's Mike Abramsky have cited unnamed oversees manufacturers to affirm the iPhone 5 is production.
If the CultofMac photo is legitimate, it would mean the iPhone 5's production timeline is setting up for at the latest, an October launch. This would corroborate a pair of recent iPhone 5 rumors.
Apple blog 9To5Mac recently said the phone will launch on Oct. 7. The rumor was originally rumored by blog TiPB. The blogs cite sources that report Apple was weighing between Oct. 7 and 14, but are presently shooting for the earlier date. Pre-orders, 9to5Mac, said would occur on Sept. 30.
This would go along with a recent report from a Japanese tech news site by the name of Kodawarisan (here's the English version) which said Apple would unveil a new iPhone at a Sept. 7 event. This could actually work with the 9to5Mac rumor since the Sept. 7 event could lead to an actual release of the phone one month later. Typically, Apple's devices come out a few months after they are launched at an event.
9to5Mac is corroborating another popular iPhone 5 rumor. The blog says Apple has plans to release two iPhones this fall. One phone will be an upgrade to the iPhone 4, it will be cheaper and possibly prepaid. The other will be the highly speculated about iPhone 5. The phone will reportedly include the A5 dual core processor, an eight megapixel camera and iOS 5. It will also have voice-based navigation and panorama photograph capabilities.
Until Apple releases any kind of information, rumors on the iPhone 5 are likely to continue. Apple, which is typically tight lipped, has never gone this long without introducing a new iPhone since the first one in 2007. It's usually introduced every June at the company's Worldwide Developer's Conference. This year, it introduced iOS 5, but didn't talk about a new phone.