Apple has typically released new iPhones at its Worldwide Developers Conference in June. However, when this June passed without a new handset being announced, speculation turned to September, when Apple has traditionally updated its iPod range.
As always with Apple launches, no official information has been forthcoming from the company itself but numerous unnamed sources have been supplying rumours. Most of the rumours seem to centre on a launch in September, either of a slightly improved iPhone 4 (the so-called iPhone 4S) or of a completely new handset, the iPhone 5.
According to a senior executive at Swiss carrier Swisscom, the next iteration of Apple’s iPhone will hit US shores on September 5th, before rolling out across the rest of the world a month later.
Further fueling the fire, Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg reportedly confirmed that a future iPhone will be released “in the fall” during a conference call with analysts held over the weekend.
Meanwhile, technology blog Boy Genius Report says that AT&T, the US telecoms company, has started to inform employees and retail store managers to quickly finish any training courses, and prepare for a bombardment from customers in September.
MacRumours, for its part, is also reporting that Apple is actively recruiting some of its former retail store workers on a part-time basis between August 15th and September 15th.
“There’s the thorny mess surrounding the AT&T – T-Mobile merger,” writes Beatweek’s Timmy Falcon. “Apple already has the iPhone 5 lined up to launch on Verizon with the same release date as AT&T, and Apple can cut a separate iPhone 5 deal with Sprint any time it wants (for all we know, it already has).”
He continues: “But any deal with T-Mobile would need to unofficially run through AT&T, which is in the long process of attempting to gain regulatory approval for the merger followed by the even longer process of merging the two carriers into a single mobile network and a single administrative business.”
“Or as Beatweek reader Dave puts it, ‘If and by the time the merger goes through, it will affect the iPhone 6 more than the iPhone 5.’ So does Apple go and do an iPhone 5 deal with T-Mobile now, or does it wait until some unspecified point in the future in which T-Mobile gains a future iPhone through AT&T by default?”
Apple-watchers predict a new handset with the same A5 processor as the iPad 2, a better camera and, possibly, some kind of mobile payment system. As always with these rumours, we’ll have to wait and see.
The new version of Apple’s mobile operating system, iOS 5, is due to launch this autumn too. It’s expected to launch alongside the new iPhone.
Neither Apple nor AT&T have released statements about either the existence of a new iPhone nor a target release date, but it is looking more and more like September is the month for your Apple smartphone refresh. What do you think?[Photo via Chris De Jabet/Flickr; Story via The Telegraph (UK), Beat Week, BGR and Computer World]