It is time for another round of iRumors. Apple had upset the proverbial apple cart of iPhone fans by breaking with the tradition of releasing the latest iteration of its flagship product at the June Developers Conference. Ever since, rumors have prevailed.
The latest rumor to 'throw' some light on the Apple product launch comes from China Times. The report says the Apple iPhone 5 will be released in the second half of September. The same source says the latest version of Apple's iconic tablet iPad will hit shelves by Thanksgiving. The Apple double offering is music to the ear for fans left in the lurch by a productless summer by the Cupertino, Calif. giant.
Before uncorking the champagne, here's some fact checking: The report says Apple is in the process of manufacturing as many as four million units following the production run of 400,000 test units. The news report infers that with the massive scale manufacturing, Apple is readying for a September release of iPhone 5.
The report also says Apple is preparing an updated version of the iPad. If the report is correct, the iPad 3 will hit the market before Thanksgiving.
Now, do these rumors hold much water? First the iPhone 5 release date. The latest report hasn't broken any new ground. Digitimes reported last month that Apple had placed an order for 15 million iPhones, eyeing a September release.
There were reports earlier that Apple's iPod event routinely held in September will give way this year to the iPhone 5 launch. This theory took its origins after Apple said conclusively that its iOS 5, the latest version of the mobile operating system, will be launched in the Fall. The logic was, if iOS appears in the Fall, could iPhone 5 be far behind?
The purported iOS 5 features were received festively by iPhone fans, but critics silently pointed out that most of the "new" features had already appeared in many Android rivals. And more potent Android beasts were being readied to hit the U.S. market. Logically, if Apple were to stick with iPhone 4 until after the Fall, it would be a big strategic mistake. iPhone 5 is the least it should offer to prevent rivals from taking the game away from them.
It was reported on Thursday that the Android OS has widened the lead over Apple iOS. Android claimed the largest share with 39 percent of the U.S. consumer smartphone market in the month of June, while Apple's iOS trailed by 11 percent, accounting for 28 percent of the entire market, said a new report released by Nielsen.
Tightening competition in the smartphone scene had made a 2012 iPhone 5 launch tactically unviable. It was reported in June that Google’s Nexus 4G would hit shelves before Thanksgiving. This would give a sucker punch to the iPhone, reeling already from the onslaught of a horde of Android devices. If Apple does not release the newest phone before Thanksgiving, it would be left short of ammunition.
The next generation Apple iPhone will come out in September of this year, and the recent launch of the white iPhone 4 lends credence to this point, Brian White, an analyst for Ticonderoga Securities said last month. Various permutations and combinations of such theories have held sway for some time.
According to White, the release decision regarding the iPhone 5 has become more of a function of marketing and sales than technology.
While Deutsche Bank analyst Chris Whitmore predicted that Apple would launch a cheaper iPhone 4S in September, Keith Bachman of BMO Capital Markets said the iPhone 5 will launch in mid-2012.
Meanwhile, Tech website Gadgetsandgizmos mused that the iPhone 5 could probably be already built and undergoing rigorous final tests by Apple engineers and other experts.
From a whole lot of perspectives, it looks a lot more possible now than ever before that the iPhone 5 will be unveiled in September.
But from the specs point of view, will the new phone be a competition smasher? Nobody can confirm if the September release iPhone will be the one to annihilate all Apple naysayers.
According to many analysts, the iPhone 5, which should release in September, will sport features like a faster processor, better camera and new iOS 5, among other bells and whistles. But what about the form factor, screen size, edge-to-edge display, improved battery life, LTE support, NFC, and the like?
According to Sterne Agee analyst Shaw Wu, the new iPhone will be an “interim upgrade” while a largely overhauled device will arrive only next year.
For Chris Whitmore of Deutsche Bank Equity, the next iPhone 5 will feature impressive improvements from the current iPhone 4. That's as predictable as it gets and hardly appealing to a fan base waiting for any snippet of information.