Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs REUTERS

This appears to be more than just another Apple iPhone 5 rumor. This appears to be more than just a play on publicity surrounding Steve Jobs' death. It shapes up to make perfect sense, that Jobs, the late, great innovator who co-founded Apple, served as the company's long-time CEO, and changed the world of consumer devices, was working on Apple's next big thing before he died -- the iPhone 5.

Jobs, who died a week-and-a-half ago at the age of 56 after a long bought with cancer, 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 well under way, and a new report 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.

As Apple prepares to remember and memorialize Jobs, who died the day after Apple unveiled its new hot-selling iPhone 4S, with a service outdoors on Wednesday at the company's Cupertino, Calif., campus, comes the report that yes, the iPhone 5 may be far along in development, and that Jobs was personally involved with its new design and features. These 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.