This week we heard talk of an iPhone 5 release date from Verizon after October 1st as well as confirmations from some that a new iPhone 5 release will include NFC technology which supports rumors of the iWallet feature, plus new screen technology and actual domestic production pushing the iPhone 5 release date towards challenges of shipping parts all over the world to align the release.
iPhone 5 Release Date
On the Verizon earnings call this week, CFO Fran Shammo talked about a big phone launch between Oct. 1 and Dec 31, which everyone is speculating to be the iPhone 5 release date. Verizon is also a big player in the 4G LTE market, so this builds on the iPhone 5 rumors of it arriving with 4G LTE connectivity features.
"As you know, we launched our $30 upgrade fee. Obviously, this all has an impact on the level of upgrades. And then of course, there is always that rumor mill out there with a new phone coming out in the fourth quarter, and so people may be waiting," is what he said on the earnings call. Can you imagine the smallest spark to set off major iPhone 5 rumors? It's like a spark in a dry forest: MAJOR FOREST FIRE ensues. Surely he must be talking about the iPhone 5 release date, we all want to tell ourselves. It's funny though, he never did say that a mobile phone was coming in the fourth quarter, he spoke to the rumor mill issue. I call this one a 50/50 toss up.
iPhone 5 Rumors
There have been many reports about the new iPhone 5 being in its production phase (this site included), but Boy Genius Report calls that into doubt this week, with a nice breakdown of the iPhone production stages. In brief: the stages include an “engineering verification test” stage that's followed by the “design verification test” phase. According the BGR, the iPhone 5 is currently in the third step of the engineering phase, known as the EVT3 stage, and has yet to enter the design verification test. This calls into question the idea that the iPhone 5 release date happening in August.
But the Boy Genius Report predictions get even more bold: "we have confirmation that the units Apple is currently testing have 1GB of RAM, doubled from the iPhone 4S’s 512MB, and integrated 4G LTE radios. We can also confirm that NFC hardware is present in the phones as well." 4G LTE has been part of the iPhone 5 rumors for a while now, and seems likely as a catch-up feature to the rest of the industry, while the NFC (near field communication) is a current trend, and could lend legitimacy to the iWallet feature as part of an iPhone 5 release date. This is an exciting new feature in mobile phones that can reshape the way we pay for things: a new way to pay using your mobile phone, as well as receive and use what used to be paper tickets for things like concerts and airline tickets. Buy, sell and use these items using your mobile phone rather than cash or credit card / cash card. Would you use this on your phone, no matter what kind of phone you have? Or do you prefer cash or credit card?
iPhone 5 Features
Wall Street Journal used the oh so hot right now immediate news medium of Twitter to say that the iPhone 5 release date will include a thinner iPhone 5 based on new technology.
Breaking: Apple's next iPhone will use a new technology that makes the smartphone's screen thinner. wsj.com
The report from WSJ says that an iPhone 5 release "will use a new technology that makes the smartphone's screen thinner," referring to the in-cell technology being provided by Sharp Corp., Japan Display Inc. and LG Display Co. They go on to say that "The technology integrates touch sensors into the LCD, making it unnecessary to have a separate touch-screen layer. The absence of the layer, usually about half-a-millimeter thick, not only makes the whole screen thinner, but improves the quality of displayed images."
So, iPhone 5 features: thinner - check. Taller with a four inch screen - check. Bigger and flatter, just like the Galaxy S III. which of course brings back our favorite video that shows this:
Apple Insider also had a nice feature report this week on how the new iPhone 5 release was seeing an increase in domestic production, saying "Tim Cook was recently asked at the D10 conference about the possibility of his company building products in America, he noted that some crucial parts for the iPhone and iPad are already manufactured stateside. Specifically, he identified the ARM processors built by Samsung in Austin, Texas, or the Corning Gorilla Glass made in Kentucky." It seems like the iPhone 5 is now a global happening.
Considering that so much of the rumors and talk around the iPhone 5 release date is growing negative about how boring the release is going to be or the posts I see everywhere ("that's it? that's all?) I gotta say WTF you guys. I'm no fanboy trying to be an evangelist, but what do you expect? IT'S JUST A PHONE. It seems that since the release of the original Jesus Phone as the first iPhone release that a mythology has been set up, in which everybody expects a new iPad or iPhone to align the planets or break massive new ground. The expectations bar seems to be set way too high. What do you think?