An industry analyst says that the iPhone 5 won't debut this summer like everyone is expecting, but supposedly has been delayed several months. If true, this move could have a significant effect on the entire smartphone industry.
Craig Berger from FBR Capital Markets reported this morning that he had spoken with parts suppliers in Asia typically used by Apple, and discovered "various casing suppliers and touch suppliers still ramping up, with some chip vendors not having yet received firm iPhone 5 orders".
That's why Berger does not believe that a launch of Apple's smartphone in July is possible. Instead, he predicts that the debut of this device is scheduled for September.
Why the Delay?
The FBR Capital Markets analyst says that the delay will give the company "more time to enhance its next-generation instant communications on the phone."
If Apple really has pushed back the release of the iPhone 5, one possible explanation could be Verizon's recent launch of the iPhone 4. If Apple's next model hits store shelves in June or July, those who just bought the previous one four or five months earlier might feel like they had been tricked.
A Significant Departure
Apple has released a new or updated iPhone in early to mid-summer every year since 2007. Moving the release back to fall could strongly affect the company and its rivals.
The various iPhone models typically sell well to college students, many of whom receive the device as a graduation gift. However, if the next version isn't available until September, many students will already be back in class by the time it arrives.
This delay would also let competitors clean up during the "Dad's and Grads" season in late spring, as they will have new models available when families are shopping for Father's Day and graduation presents.
Apple, on the other hand, reportedly isn't nervous. Berger from FBR Capital Markets is reporting that Apple intends to produce 100 million iPhone units this year -- previously, the company had said it plans to make 75 million.
Rumors are Flyin'
There have been quite a few unconfirmed reports on the next-generation iPhone circulating on the Web in the last week, all dealing with possible design changes.
According to one of these, Apple is considering releasing its first smartphone with a sliding keyboard.
Another rumor indicates that the company might increase the size of the screen on the future iPhone, moving to a 4-inch display instead of the 3.5-inch one that has been on all previous versions. However, yet another says that Apple might offer a version with a display half the size of the current model.
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