In the past months, a number of reports from different sources have indicated Apple has no plans to introduce a new iPhone at the WWDC event in June, which is going to be software-focused with previews of OS X Lion and iOS 5. The next-generation iPhone — according to many simply called iPhone 5 following the trend set by the iPhone 4 and iPad 2 — is rumored to be unveiled at Apple’s usual September media event — where the company will also release a final version of iOS 5 and roll out its revamped cloud services. Again, according to the rumors, Apple is doing this in order to shift the iPhone’s release date against the much more profitable holiday season, and a September / Fall 2011 release would make sense for such a strategy.
MacRumors reports today an AT&T customer care representative told a reader that Apple didn’t inform the carrier of any new iPhone in June or July, though there will be one in the future. This customer called AT&T to ask about his eligibility date for a subsidized upgrade, which had been pushed back by five months without reason. As MacRumors reports, this is what the AT&T rep told the customer:
Apple has informed us that they do not plan to release the iPhone in the June to July timeframe, though there will be a newer version in the future. Unfortunately, we have not been given a release time for the new phone. We will release this information on our website when it is available to us.
Information coming from customer care representatives is usually unreliable as these people don’t have access to the company’s fully disclosed plans and operations, and they shouldn’t be able to inform customers of alleged plans and future release dates anyway. However, the statement does seem to confirm previous speculation of a new iPhone slated for a Fall release, with no new model this Summer as Apple has just released a white iPhone and a CDMA version before that in February.
I’ve been thinking about this for a while now, but after seeing Apple’s terrific financial results for the second 2011 quarter it became clear to me: a new iPhone in September makes perfect sense, in spite of all the reports claiming it would be a bad choice for the company to “delay” the release of the next-generation to the Fall skipping the usual June / July timeframe. Of course Apple hasn’t confirmed any of this speculation, but if rumors and reports from well-sourced Apple journalists like Jim Dalrymple are of any indication, it really looks like we’re going to see a new iPhone in September, not this summer. And here’s why I think it’s a good plan. (more…)
Following speculation and rumors in the past weeks that indicated Apple was not ready to announce and launch a new iPhone model in June, Reuters published a report last night claiming that, according to ”three people with direct knowledge of the company’s supply chain”, the next-generation iPhone will ship in September with production starting in July / August.
Apple’s next-generation iPhone will have a faster processor and will begin shipping in September, three people with direct knowledge of the company’s supply chain said.
Reports on the timeline of the new iPhone launch vary, though it is largely expected that Apple will likely refresh its iPhone 4 later this year.
The sources declined to be identified because the plans for the new iPhone were not yet public. An Apple spokeswoman in Hong Kong was not available for comment.
Whilst Reuters’ report doesn’t provide new details on the iPhone 5 — any different from what we’ve been hearing in the past months — the publication directly mentions Largan Precision, Wintek and Foxconn as key suppliers for the new device’s camera, screen and case, respectively. Reuters also reports the new iPhone will have a faster processor — presumably the Apple A5, as previously reported — and a design similar to the iPhone 4′s one — although it is not clear if Apple will adopt the same design but use different materials as a rumor suggested weeks ago. The iPhone 5 is also rumored to feature a bigger screen, as well as NFC capabilities and a new aluminum design with internal antenna.
As reported by AppleInsider, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo with Concord Securities issued a note to investors this morning including details of the next-generation iPhone, allegedly scheduled for a Fall 2011 launch with a possible announcement at Apple’s usual September media event. According to Ming-Chi Kuo, the iPhone 5 won’t feature an all-new design marking a departure from the current iPhone 4 industrial hardware design — rather, it will be a “slight modification” with the addition of the Apple A5 processor, and a Qualcomm baseband for CDMA and GSM models.
His checks with supply chain sources indicated that the next handset from Apple will not feature an all-new-design, but rather only “slight modifications” from the iPhone 4.
Specifically, Kuo has heard that the iPhone 5 will include the faster A5 processor already found in the iPad 2, as well as a higher resolution 8 megapixel rear camera. He has also been told that Apple will switch to a Qualcomm baseband for both GSM and CDMA models, along with an improved antenna design.
The analyst believes “trial production” of the new device will start in August, with massive production for retail distribution in September. Whilst Ming-Chi Kuo has a good track record when it comes to Apple rumors (he pinpointed the rumored white iPhone 4 release in April, and the fact that the iPad 2 would feature a 1024 x 768 display with iPod touch-like cameras), it is worth noting that several reports in the past weeks indicated the iPhone 5 wouldn’t ship until this Fall, or that Apple was considering an updated design with a metal back and a redesign antenna system. Among other rumors, NFC capabilities and a bigger screen to face competition from Android handsets which come with bigger displays than the iPhone’s.
Last, Ming-Chi Kuo claims the biggest selling point of the iPhone 5 will be the new operating system, iOS 5, Apple will unveil in the next months. iOS 5 is set to be previewed at the WWDC in June, and previous speculation suggested it would be a heavily cloud-based OS with new social, location and music features built on top of a “locker” for media Apple will include in a future (quite possibly free) version of MobileMe.
According to a note issued by Avian Securities this morning, the next-generation iPhone will go into mass production in September — suggesting a late Fall 2011 / early 2012 public release. Avian Securities claims that “conversations with yet another key component supplier” confirms that production will start in September, with a lower price iPhone model still in the works and on Apple’s “roadmap”, although no details about the production of this rumored cheaper iPhone have been provided by the component suppliers.
Supporting out comments over the last month, conversations with yet another key component supplier indicates that production for iPhone-5 will begin in September. This is consistent with Avian findings in the supply chain in recent months and we believe the consensus view is moving towards this scenario. In addition, our conversations also indicate the existence of a lower-spec/lower-priced iPhone in Apple’s roadmap. However, while our contacts have seen the placeholder in the Apple roadmap, they do not yet have insight into specs or production timing. This leads us to believe that any launch is likely a very late 2011 or more likely a 2012 event.
N.O.V.A. 3 Built On Unreal Engine, Coming Later This Year
Pocket Gamer reports an interesting tidbit about software development studio Gameloft and its first-person shooter game N.O.V.A. for iOS:
Gameloft has confirmed what we already knew down here in the Rumour Mine – it’s busy working on four games utilising Epic Games’s Unreal Engine 3. But the Paris-based publisher hasn’t revealed what those games are.
Word has it that shooter sequel N.O.V.A. 3 is among the four titles built around the engine and will be out later this year.
I’m not a huge fan of Gameloft’s console-like approach to iOS, but I think it’ll be interesting to see how a new N.O.V.A. developed with the same engine that powers Infinity Blade will fit in the iOS gaming scene. Gameloft has plenty of time to make N.O.V.A. graphically more impressive than Infinity Blade or Rage HD come the 2011 holiday season. And — we’ll see if I’m wrong — I have a feeling a brand new N.O.V.A. with stunning graphics could make for the perfect demo at a certain Apple fall event.
Some stories about the build quality of iOS devices are just too good to not be mentioned. Take the iPhone 4 for example: in the past year, we’ve heard stories of shattered glasses and damages to the metal band that runs across the device, but in most of those stories the device always ended up being functional — although broken. The glass that Apple uses in its iPhones certainly is resistant enough to protect the multitouch display beneath it, but it may break even after a stupid fall from the coffee table. It happens.
The story shared by iLounge today, however, is quite possibly the most dramatic and, at the same time, incredible we’ve heard so far: an iPhone 4 falls off a plane flying at 130 knots, ends up in the woods, the glass breaks but the phone is still active and working. It was a 1,000 foot fall. The owner installs Find My iPhone on a second device, retrieves the iPhone 4′s position through GPS, gets his iPhone back and uses it to send an email to iLounge about what happened. Again, that was a 1,000 foot fall from a plane.
Plotting the phone’s position on maps, Mr. Walker and a friend headed out on ATVs to see if they could track the phone down, if only so Mr. Walker could attempt to back up his data for transfer to a replacement unit. Within an hour, the two had pinpointed the phone’s location near a tree, ultimately finding the phone in complete working order, apparently with nary a scratch or patch of dirt on it. Mr. Walker says that the phone only had a Griffin Motif TPU case and an aftermarket metal backing on it for protection; he believes that the phone’s fall may have been slowed by tree leaves and needles as it made its way towards land.
So the iPhone was inside a case and had a metal backing, but the fact that it’s still working after such a fall is still impressive. Perhaps the trees and leaves made the impact less strong? Maybe he just got lucky? One thing is for sure: Find My iPhone is a must-have. [via iSpazio]
The next-generation iPad, dubbed “iPad 2″ so far, is likely to be released between March and April. According to recent speculation, it will include a faster processor, more RAM, a thinner and lighter design and a front-facing camera for FaceTime. At this point, with even the Wall Street Journal weighing in to confirm the iPad 2 existence and release in the next few months, it seems pretty much obvious that we’ll see an iPad 2 within 10 weeks from today.
Still, two posts published by Daring Fireball’s John Gruber today open up to a new possibility: that Apple will release two new iPads in 2011, with a second one — let’s call it iPad 3 — due for a September release. (more…)