A report by Appleinsider’s Neil Hughes says Topeka Capital Markets analyst Brian White is in Taipei this week attending the 2012 Computex Show and meeting with local contacts in the component supply chain, from whom he says he’s hearing that September is shaping up to be an “exciting” month for Apple fans.
Forbes CIO Network’s Eric Savitz also cites a research note White posted to investors yesterday, based on what he’s learned in Taipei, in which he says that Apple is likely to launch the iPhone 5 in September, rather than following suit with the iPhone 4S October release last year. Aside from die-hard WWDC optimists, a punditry consensus has been leaning more toward October, although I’ve been inclined to posit either September or October as most likely.
Incidentally, a new report yesterday from 9To5Mac’s Mark Gurman says Apple will make several major software announcements at the WWDC, including iOS 6, an iCloud version update, and OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion, and possibly a raft of Mac announcements and upgrades as well in addition to the widely anticipated redesigned Retina display 15-inch MacBook Pro, including MacBook Air, iMac, and Mac mini or even Mac Pro refreshes, but there’s nary a word from his sources on a new iPhone or iPad mini announcement in the offing for next week.
In favor of a new iPhone October release is the aforementioned iPhone 4S launch precedent, and the tidiness of letting a year elapse between version releases. On the other hand, October will also mark the first anniversary of Steve Jobs’s death, and while reportedly Jobs had a lot of input on the sixth-generation iPhone redesign, it’s become evident that many people would perceive commemorating him with a commercial product launch as tacky or worse.
Consequently, September sounds quite plausible for the iPhone 5 (more likely “New iPhone”, IMHO) release both for that reason, as well as the fact that it’s been a traditional time slot for annual iPod refreshes. With the iPod now a mature product and the preponderance of innovative development focused on the iPhone and iPad, it’s highly conceivable that 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.
Incidentally, Eric Saviitz also reports that Brian White is skeptical of rumors that the iPhone 5 might have a Liquidmetal amorphous metal alloy back (technology for which Apple purchased exclusive rights to in consumer electronic products back in 2010 as reported by Michael Nace here today), and expects the new handset to have a unibody aluminum case manufactured by major Apple subcontractor Hon Hai.