Some tech media heavyweights have given the nod to the September 12th iPhone 5 announcement as being the real deal. But does a report today from Reuters regarding iPhone 5 display shipments call that date into question?
On Tuesday, Charles Moore outlined a new rumor that Apple is gearing up for an iPhone 5 announcement on September 12th, which was later supported by other tech media outlets. I had a chance to run the date by Sam Levin of App Minute and our correspondent for covering Apple events, and he seemed to believe as much, saying, “already on the Sept event trail, dude!” Between the release date and design being seemingly agreed upon, there doesn’t seem much left to do but twiddle our thumbs and wait.
But a report today from Reuters manage to raise a few eyebrows regarding iPhone 5 production, and whether a mide=-September announcement and late-September launch is indeed feasible.
The article reports that:
“Japan’s Sharp Corp. will start shipping screens destined for a new Apple iPhone that is widely expected to be released in October ahead of the pre-Christmas shopping season. ‘Shipments will start in August,’ Sharp’s new president, Takashi Okuda, said at a press briefing in Tokyo on Thursday after the company released its latest quarterly earnings. He declined to give a more specific date for shipments beyond this month.”
From a production standpoint, it’s great news, as this kind of evidence typically comes as the new iPhone nears completion. But the question remains: is roughly two months enough time for Apple to produce enough iPhone 5 units for the big launch?
The answer is difficult to arrive at, since no one really knows what the production process or schedule looks like, and where the displays fit into the mix. However, considering that we’ve purportedly gotten multiple looks at the iPhone 5 from different websites, and that iPhone 5 parts are allegedly flowing liberally out of places like Foxconn, it begs the question: is there another display provider who has already been supplying Apple with screens? Otherwise, are these rumored devices prototypes or actual production models?
Whatever the case, we know from experience that Apple can produce iPhones at quite a clip. A report on September 8th last year from Charles noted that Foxconn was producing 150,000 units a day. That was just about a month before the announcement. We reported the day about reports that the iPhone 4S had been in production for two months prior.
Based on these reports from last year, we know what Apple is capable of. The big consideration this year is that they are working with a completely new form factor, which undoubtedly must complicate production to some degree.
By Michael Nace