iPhone 5 to begin production in July, release in September

20 Apr 2011

Signs of a production road map for the much-anticipated iPhone 5 have begun to emerge, with reports suggesting it could begin production in July and August with an official release tipped for September.

According to reports, the new smartphone will have a faster processor – perhaps dual-core – but will look largely similar to the current iPhone 4.

Suppliers to the current generation camera maker, Largan Precision Co, touchscreen panel maker Wintek and case maker Foxconn will begin production either in July or August before shipping components to Foxconn’s flagship company Hon Hai Precision for final assembly, according to a report in Reuters.

The iPhone 4 was launched last June and began shipping the same month. However, the enduring success of the iPhone 4 means Apple is in no special hurry to rush out a successor.

This may buy Apple time to resolve concerns over key component supply issues, such as displays and processors.

You have to wonder if Apple’s current battle with Samsung over patents surrounding the iPhone and iPad will help, especially since Apple is Samsung’s second-largest customer for semiconductors, spending an estimated US$5.7bn a year with the company.

Another issue that will delay the iPhone 5 is the expected launch of the much-anticipated white iPhone 4 smartphone at the end of April.

Continued success of iPhone 4 is delaying release of iPhone 5

Last week, a report in the Taiwanese news service DigiTimes suggested sales of the iPhone 4 have continued to mount and suppliers are not ready yet to shift their production lines for new products.

There has been speculation that Apple may delay the iPhone 5 until September or even 2012 because of a shortage of upstream components, particularly touchscreen display technology.

Last week, touch panel suppliers in the Far East had not yet seen a timetable to stop current production in preparation for a next-generation iPhone.

Apple’s quarterly results are due out tomorrow and analysts have tipped Apple to report revenues in and around US$26bn for the quarter, driven largely by the success of products like the iPhone 4, iPad 2 and MacBook Air.

White iPhone 4

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years