French site App4Phone writer Admin Dylan claims they’ve obtained exclusive information about the iPhone 5′s release date from a Chinese source that specializes in the manufacture of accessories (one of the three largest factories in Hong Kong). They also claim to have received from Apple some technical specifications for the next generation iPhone and its specific release date, alleged to be September 21, 2012 for the United States, parts of Europe (including France), and China.
That sounds believable. Apple will want to ship the new iPhone with iOS 6, which they’ve said would be released in the fall. Many people regard September 21 as the first day of fall. (Actually, the 2012 Autumnal equinox happens September 22, at 14:49 UTC, so Sept. 21 is still technically late summer, but jumping the gun by one day is probably near enough.)
Back in June, Topeka Capital Markets analyst Brian White reported from Taipei where he attended the 2012 Computex Show that local contacts in the component supply chain he had met with there told him that September was shaping up to be an “exciting” month for Apple fans.
Forbes CIO Network’s Eric Savitz cited a research note White posted to investors, based on what he learned in Taipei, in which he said Apple would likely launch the iPhone 5 in September, rather than waiting for the full-year to elapse for a 12-month follow-up to the iPhone 4S’s October 2011 release. That contradicts a punditry consensus that’s formed leaning more toward an October new iPhone release.
Nevertheless, September sounds plausible for an iPhone 5 (more likely “New iPhone”, in my opinion) release. It’s been a traditional time slot for annual iPod refreshes, but with the iPod now a mature product and the preponderance of Apple’s innovative development focused on the iPhone and iPad, it’s conceivable Apple might choose to rededicate the primo annual September new product release window to a hotter-selling product. The cusp of late summer/early fall combines back-to-school and settling into a new business year seasons, with an early kickoff to the holiday gift-buying ramp-up.
KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has a pretty good track record the past couple of years predicting Apple product releases and developments, last month said in a note to investors reported by Appleinsider that he expects Apple to unveil the iOS 6 Golden Master “in early September,” accordingly deducing that, “… there is a very good chance iPhone 5 will start shipping also in early September.” Or September 21? The thing is that Mr. Kuo made that observation prior to Apple unambiguously stating at the World Wide Developers Conference in June that iOS 6 will be released in “the fall,” an affirmation repeated on Tuesday in Apple’s third fiscal quarter financials report media release which says the company “… will be launching iOS 6 this Fall,” and which, strictly speaking at least, would preclude an early September release.
App4Phone’s Dylan also says they’ve also received confirmation that the new iPhone’s Port Dock is not the same as the familiar iPhone 30-pin connector, which will be supplanted by a smaller connector – likely the widely-rumored 19-pin configuration. The iPhone 5 News Blog’s Michael Nace noted a month ago that a consensus was gelling in the consumer tech industry that the next iPhone will get a new 19-pin dock connector displacing the one that’s been a fixture on Apple’s idevices since the third generation iPod when it elbowed the early iPod’s FireWire connector out of primacy, soon to be consigned to iDevice oblivion.
TechCrunch’s John Biggs reported that three independent manufacturers have confirmed that the 19-pin dock port is in the works, a development he says will send shocks through the iPhone accessory ecosystem.
Of course, the Apple 30-pin connector is a proprietary, non-standard format, but had become something of a defacto standard by virtue of its use over many years now, and the massive popularity of Apple’s iproducts. As Biggs noted, a vast ecosystem has been built around creating and marketing accessories for iPhones, iPods and iPads based on 30-pin connectivity. As a result, many users have a sizeable investment in peripherals (some of them, such as audio docks and such, representing hundreds of dollars in outlay).
As for the new iPhone’s much-rumored and hotly debated screen size, Dylan claims that App4Phone have obtained the exact dimensional specs of the future iPhone, noting that the current iPhone 4S measures 115.2 mm long, with a 3.5-inch display, while the new iPhone will measure about 123.9 mm in length, which would imply a screen of 3.75 inches maintaining the current aspect ratio, although he observes that Apple could also increase the screen size more by slimming outer parts of the device’s front display bezel. Even if Apple bumps the screen size to a full four inches, a number that’s been widely speculated, it will still be substantially smaller that the 4.8-inch panel in Samsung’s hot-selling Galaxy S III, but a substantial proportion of iPhone fans are partial to the iPhone’s handy, pocketable form factor, and Apple likely won’t want to mess with that too much.