An unlikely report claims that Apple is already testing and pre-produing iPhone 5S units for a release sometime in the first quarter of 2013. Could Apple do with the iPhone what it just did with the iPads 3 and 4?
If you’re a perennial iPhone rumor mill follower, then you know that now is precisely when we’ll start hearing the “early release” rumors about the next iPhone. We had it as far back as the late summer of 2010, when on the hells of the iPhone 4′s release, we were already hearing about an iPhone 5 by Christmas of that year.
We can look back and laugh about that now.
However, for as much as the notion of the next iPhone being released as early as the first quarter in 2013 might seem completely far-fetched — especially after how long users waited for the iPhone 5 — the recent sub-annual refreshing of the iPad might make this iPhone 5S report a bit more plausible.
According to PC Magazine, a new report:
“. . . claims that 5 to 10 million units are slated for trial production in December, with the commercial debut of the new model forecast to come some time in the first quarter of 2013. However, such a rapid turnaround seems unlikely given that Apple usually staggers new iPhone releases at least a year apart.”
The report came by way of the China Times, which was translated by 9 to 5 Mac. The rumor doubles down on the release madness for the next quarter as well:
“In addition to the iPhone, the report also mentions refreshes of the iPad and the Apple TV digital media receiver. Again, the notion of a new iPad so soon after the fourth-generation iPad was released seems unlikely.”
Indeed, it would seem farfetched that the iPad 5 would be released so soon after the iPad 4, which was released so soon after the iPad 3. The fact that the rumor has that doubtful iPad release attached to it doesn’t bode well for the iPhone 5S release rumor. But quoting DigiTimes, eWeek tries to make sense of the logic of an iPhone 5S released so soon:
“Facing low yield rates in the production of iPhone 5, Apple has accelerated the certification processes for related parts and components for the iPhone 5S, the paper revealed,” DigiTimes reported.
To me, it seems unlikely that Apple will accelerate the release schedule of the iPhone going forward, since its current schedule of releasing an overhauled iteration every other year has proven to be quite effective. For as much as consumers were somewhat disappointed with the iPhone 4S, it sold historically well. So too is the iPhone 5. The excitement over the new iPhone 5 should give it enough inertia in the marketplace to remain a viable smartphone contender into next fall, competing not only with the GS3, but even the yet-to-be-released GS4.
By Michael Nace