Apple’s future iPhone releases used to be the closest-held secrets in the consumer technology sector. But this year, the tech media claims to have all the answers for what the iPhone 5 will look like and when it will be released. Is cagey Apple and its secretive iPhone release a thing of the past?
If you listen to the iPhone 5 rumor mill these days, it would appear that the new iPhone has been figured out: we know exactly what it will look like, the dimensions of the display, the new 19-pin dock connector, and now — the announcement date. In spite of the fact that it isn’t even August yet, sources now claim that September 12th has been circled on the calendar by Cupertino execs for the big iPhone 5 exposé.
According to Jonny Evans roundup article over at Computerworld, this date has been confirmed not by only one tech media outlet, but several:
All Things Digital, The Loop and others are all making claims of this September 12 event, and while most are not categorically stating this will see the introduction of the new device, the date does seem to match existing speculation claiming a Fall release of the new smartphone. Recent reports claimed iPhone 5 production to have already begun. The device should then ship around September 21/22, we’re told.
What’s particularly interesting is that Jim Dalrymple’s The Loop is counted among the tech blogs claiming September 12th as the date, considering that Jim has proven to have some deep sources within Cupertino; he usually acts as an accurate barometer for whether audacious claims about future Apple products pass the smell test. He seems to be buying into the notion that September 12th could be the day.
Dalrymple is pretty definitive:
However, it’s important to note that the announcement and release dates for the iPhone 5 — September 12th and 21st/22nd, respectively — was originally championed by iMore, as explored in Charles’ post yesterday
It would be easy to act incredulous toward all of these bold claims — after all, Apple has a much longer track record of keeping secrets close to the vest. Add to this Tim Cook’s promise of “doubling down” on security, and how could we ever believe that we’re seeing the iPhone 5 and getting the exact date of its release fourty-some days before its announcement?
It is possible that more accurate leaks are a part of Apple’s new strategy under Tim Cook.
There’s no denying that the secretive, buzz-building wielding of the rumor mills was a deliberate strategy of Steve Jobs. But it remains to be seen if Apple is still playing from Jobs’ playbook when it comes to dealing with new products. Earlier in the week, we heard Tim Cook give a very careful, measure response to the possibility that the speculation surrounding the new iPhone could be hurting current sales, with Cook referring only to an amorphous “future product.” That style of elusive banter seems like vintage Steve Jobs.
At the same time, you’ll recall that, for the first time, the tech rumor mills did a rather good job of getting the New iPad right. With the exception of its name, late-breaking and even some not-so-late-breaking reports accurately reported the retina display, slightly thicker dimensions, same form factor, and A5X processor.
The earlier, more accurate leaks could indeed be coming from Asia, where Apple’s ability to control security among its component producers and assemblers may be more restricted than that of its own campus at 1 infinite loop. But in recent years, we’ve seen companies like Foxconn, and even the Chinese government, work closely with Apple to ensure security on future products, and even come down hard on those who leak information out of Asia. It has become a very risky proposition to do so, what with China’s famously draconian “justice” system, which has already prosecuted leakers in the past
We have also seen Apple themselves push back hard against errant leaks, such as the famous iPhone 4 incident, with Apple pressing authorities to charge Jason Chen of Gizmodo. Remember that?
This time around, Apple seems to be doing nothing over all of these purported leaks. And that could suggest two things: either Apple is at the heart of these leaks (the conspiracy theory angle), or that everything we’re seeing and hearing is completely bogus, and Apple is content to let the misinformation set us up for a big surprise in the fall.
I do not believe that Apple would leak a fake iPhone 5 to the public, for fear of creating a possible let-down: it would be a risky proposition for Apple to release a fake product that people could come to love and anticipate, only to have its actual iPhone 5 disappoint. I also cannot imagine that Apple’s security could have really gotten this bad.
In my opinion, either this iPhone 5 is the real thing and Apple has been complicit in letting it get out in the open, or it is a complete fabrication that Apple has nothing to do with. Either way, we’re still guaranteed silence from Cupertino on the matter until the big day finally comes.
By Michael Nace