Reports this morning offered yet another surprising suggestion on the projected timeline for the launch of the iPhone 5 and, even more surprisingly, the iPhone 6. The reports came via Concord Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo who cited supply line sources when suggesting that the iPhone 5 would go into mass production in September and that the iPhone 6 would see a release in the first half of 2012.
Taking the reports at face value, there are a few inconsistencies that could cast doubt on the feasibilities of these projections. The first relates to the date of launch of the iPhone 5. Kuo’s report suggests that the iPhone 5 would apparently go into mass production in September 2011 but that the device would be launched at the WWDC in June 2011. Putting aside the fact that the concensus at the moment seems to suggest that Apple would not be introducing the iPhone 5 at the WWDC, how likely is it that Apple would wait a full three months between announcement of a device and release to the public?
Additionally, Kuo’s suggestions really throw a spanner in the current thinking regarding annual revisions of the iPhone. If the analyst’s predictions were collated along with historical launches then we see iPhone 4 launched June 2010, Verizon iPhone launch Feb 2011, white iPhone launch in April 2011, iPhone 5 announced June 2011, iPhone 5 launch in Sept 2011 and iPhone 6 launch early 2012. That seems like a pretty compressed revision schedule, especially given that Kuo expects dramatic hardware revisions in the iPhone 6.
Could this new report therefore provide indications of what many people have been expecting? That the iPhone 5 will be a very incremental upgrade with an A5 processor and improved camera but not many other changes. Apple could essentially be looking towards NFC and 4G for their iPhone 6 revamp in 2012. This seems a little more likely than an iPhone 6 around 6-7 months after an iPhone 5.