Citing people with intimate knowledge of Apple’s supply chain, Reuters is reporting that the iPhone 5 will ship in September. The sources relay that production on the next-gen iPhone will commence in July/August and, corroborating previous reports, will feature the same form factor as the iPhone 4.
It’s hard to read too much into this report due to the number of conflicting stories surrounding the iPhone 5 release date. A few days ago, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo wrote that the iPhone 5 wouldn’t begin mass production until September, in time for a launch in October at the earliest. While supply chain sources, at first glance, might sound more reliable than an analyst report, we should point out that Kuo was spot on with his predictions regarding the iPad 2 launch and some of the iPad 2’s internals.
Release date aside, we’re starting to hear more rumblings about what the iPhone 5 will come with. Again, the form factor will remain the same as the iPhone 4, but users can expect the next-gen iPhone to run on the same speedy A5 chip currently employed on the iPad 2. Also expected is an 8-megapixel camera, which rumor has it, may be sourced from Sony. Software wise, the iPhone 5 will be running iOS 5, and though we don’t know too much about Apple’s highly anticipated software update, there are substantial reports suggesting that location and map features will be a huge selling point.
While Apple has consistently introduced new iPhone models during its WWDC events, ahead of a Summer launch, this year will be markedly different. Word that this year’s WWDC would be a software only event first surfaced in late March. This news, while surprising at first, was tenuously corroborated by reports that Apple had yet to place orders for the iPhone 5 components with its partners in the Chinese supply chain.
It remains unclear if the iPhone 5 delay was strategic or perhaps a necessity in light of the Japan earthquakes and subsequent component shortages.