Was iPhone 5 Steve Jobs' Last Big Project?

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Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs

Last week we got a report that late Apple co-founder and long-time CEO was at work on the iPhone 5 project until his death as his last big innovation. Now comes a report that Jobs was working on the company's next project, which may have been the iPhone 5, until the day before he died.

PC Magazine reported that Apple CEO Tim Cook, who replaced Jobs when the Apple co-founder stepped down last month, was in a meeting on October 4 with Masayoshi Son, the CEO of Softbank Capital, which distributes the iPhone in Japan, when Cook got a telephone call. Cook reportedly stepped away from the meeting to take the call.

I said, 'Where are you going?' (and Cook) said, 'My boss is calling me,' Son said, according to PC Magazine. That was the day of the announcement of the iPhone 4S. He said that Steve is calling me because he wants to talk about their next product. And the next day, he died.

Apple unveiled its new iPhone 4S which broke the global smartphone record, selling four million units in the first week, on October 4. The next day, on October 5, Jobs died after a long battle with cancer.

Son concluded that the announcement of (Apple's) newest product made (Jobs) live longer.

But Jobs was apparently focusing on development of the Apple iPhone 5 as his last big project -- his last Apple innovation. 

Apple isn't yet ready to unveil the iPhone 5, but the project is apparently well under way with Jobs innvolvement, as another report last week said Jobs was hands-on with the project before his death, and that the Apple iPhone 5 will be a cult classic because of its radical design and Jobs signature touches on the product.

The report also said indications suggest mid-2012 for the Apple iPhone 5 release date.

The iPhone 5 is reportedly a radical redesign that Jobs was personally involved with. The design and new features reportedly include a larger screen than those of previous iterations of the iPhone, and, as many qualified reports suggested, and a slimmer profile. It will also have LTE (Long Term Evolution), or 4G, according to Ashtok Kuman, an analyst at Rodman & Renshaw.

Also, CNET's Brooke Crothers said a source he spoke with this week claims to have knowledge of the redesign, saying the iPhone 5 is a 'complete redesign. This is a very large project that Steve dedicated all of his time to. He was not that involved in the 4S because his time was limited.'

The Apple iPhone 4S is setting records since launching Friday in stores, but that's nothing compared to what the iPhone 5 will do, with a radical redesign and the signature touch of Jobs, said an industry analyst.

The next-generation iPhone with the radical redesign, logically the iPhone 5 that consumers from around the world have been waiting for, was the last project that Steve Jobs was intimately involved with from concept to final design. For that reason ... this product will establish the high-water mark for iPhone volumes, wrote Kumar, in a research note this week.

Kumor suggests the iPhone 5 will be a much bigger success than the record-setting iPhone 4S, with cult classic qualities because of Jobs' deep personal involvement in development. Jobs, who died after a long bout with cancer at the age of 56, is recognized as one of the all-time great innovators for birthing such popular products at Apple as the iPhone, the iPad tablet, the iPod and the Mac computer.

In the research note, Kumar said the Apple iPhone 5 release date will likely be in the summer of 2012.

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