More and more iPhone 5 production rumors abound, putting the new iPhone in line for an announcement and release similar to that of the iPhone 4S in 2011. Meanwhile, those persistent rumors of the smaller dock connector have seeped into the mainstream media.
It was just about this time last year that we started to hear about the likes of Foxconn and Pegatron getting busy with iPhone 5 production rumors. Little did we know at the time that we’d end up with the pedestrian iPhone 4S. But if the abortive 2011 iPhone 5 speculation has a silver lining, it’s that it gave us a timeline to compare all of this year’s rumors against.
And true to form, we’re beginning to hear whisperings that the iPhone 5 is actually — finally — in production.
The news today comes by way of a DigiTimes source, which claims that the iPhone 5 assembly is underway in Shanghai, with backup assembler Pegatron getting to work on pumping out new iPhone units. According to CNET:
“iPhone 5 production reports are rolling in from Asia with more frequency. This time, a Taipei-based report claims that Pegatron has started making the next iPhone. The Taiwan-based manufacturer has begun production of a new version of the iPhone at its factory in Shanghai, according to Digitimes, citing “industry sources in Taiwan.” This follows a week-earlier report claiming basically the same thing — though that report did not specify the manufacturer.”
The “week-earlier” report that CNET is referring to is one that came from Japanese rumor blog Macotakara. However, CNET dilutes this new DigiTimes production rumor by linking it to the Macotakara rumor, since “. . .the Macotakara blog cites listings for iPhone 5 cases on China’s Alibaba.com.”
Not the most rock-solid proof of iPhone 5 production, to be sure.
However, the arc of these iPhone 5 production rumors are somewhat similar to what we heard last year, with Pegatron leading the way in getting started on serious production. Considering that Foxconn ends up taking on the bulk of the production workload, it remains to be seen why Pegatron is often first out of the gate in terms of production. However, that seems to be the case once again.
Last year, Charles Moore reported on September 8th, 2011 about a widespread production ramp-up for the iPhone 5, with Foxconn producing some 150,000 units a day. But that was in September — we’re not even into August yet. It may be that we are seeing Apple get an early start on iPhone 5 production in 2012, since the new iPhone will ostensibly be an overhaul from the iPhone 4 design that has persisted since 2010. However, in spite of these early production rumors, I still do not anticipate an announcement before September, and even a September announcement would be a bit of a shock. Given the fact that Apple passed on the WWDC for an iPhone 5 announcement, the smart money would have to be on another October announcement.
Dock Connector Rumor For iPhone 5 Goes Mainstream
I had promised not to over-report on the dock connector rumor for the iPhone 5, since it is one of the more mundane rumored changes for the next iPhone, and one that carries with it little upside for the end user. However, the dock connector rumors don’t seem to be going away.
Now, Reuters is even making it a story:
“The iPhone 5, Apple’s next generation iPhone expected to go on sale around October, will come with a 19-pin connector port at the bottom instead of the proprietary 30-pin port “to make room for the earphone moving to the bottom”, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.”
The Reuters source makes the reason for the 19-pin dock connector even more boring — at least in the past we had been told that it was part of Apple’s initiative to make the iPhone 5 much thinner. Now, it appears that the redesign — which will send users and the entire consumer electronics accessories sector into a tailspin — is so that Apple can move the headphone jack to the bottom of the device. Considering how un-ergonomic that move is, we can only hope that this is a chain-reaction move, and that the headphone jack is moving down because something really cool (like an NFC-related antenna) will be inserted near the top of the new iPhone.
By Michael Nace