No Fifth-Generation iPhone Launch Until September?

095215 iphone 4 side shot

Following close on the heels of analyst claims that Apple made last-minute design changes to the second-generation iPad that will see the device not launch until June, Business Insider now reports that FBR Capital Markets analyst Craig Berger is similarly predicting that the fifth-generation iPhone may not make an appearance until September.

Berger writes, "For the iPhone 5, we continue to hear that a July launch is unlikely, with various casing suppliers and touch suppliers still ramping up, with some chip vendors not having yet received firm iPhone 5 orders, and with other sockets like the image sensor (most likely going to Omnivision exclusively, but with some potential for Sony to split that socket) still in flux. Given these factors, we think a September launch is more likely, off from Apple's traditional iPhone launch schedule, but giving the firm more time to enhance its next-generation instant communications on the phone."

Apple has released new iPhone models nearly like clockwork each year in June or July since the device's debut in 2007. Consequently, a September launch for the next-generation model would be a significant deviation from that trend, which Apple executives have acknowledged is part of an annual cycle of product releases.

One thing that is different during this year's cycle is mid-year product introductions, with the iPhone 4 making its way to Verizon earlier this month, and potentially offering a way for Apple to milk more life out of the device. But at least for the time being, that effect would only apply in the United States, as the CDMA device has not yet launched in other markets and many countries do not even offer significant CDMA-based networks on which the device could run. In a similar vein, Apple has said that it will be releasing the white iPhone 4 sometime this "spring", which could provide another boost to the line, although Apple has of course already delayed the device's launch several times and some observers are skeptical that it will ever see a release.

Still, we tend to take most research analyst claims with a grain of salt, as they tend to be wrong more often than right. But they do occasionally offer up accurate information from Apple's supply chain, and thus it bears watching to see if more independent claims of this nature begin to surface.

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