Apple's iPhone 5 will almost certainly make its debut within the next few weeks, if you take heed in the reports drifting around online. However, another source suggests the next-generation device could run into delays and shortages.
Much of the chatter erupted after Case-Mate, which manufactures cases and holsters for smartphones and tablets, posted-and then just as promptly yanked down-a Web page with cases for the iPhone 5. The images themselves revealed precious little about the smartphone's possible design, but that didn't stop them from multiplying around news Websites at a rapid clip.
The New York Times, based on information from an anonymous Apple employee, then offered that the iPhone 5's unveiling is "just weeks away." That Sept. 15 article also mentioned that the iPhone 5 would offer an 8-megapixel camera and A5 dual-core processor, along with some deviation from the design template established by the iPhone 4.
The Apple-centric 9to5Mac piped up at that point with a more specific unveiling date for the device.
"Here's some real info: We've heard that there are indeed two different models of iPhone coming out next month (announced this month?)," read a Sept. 15 posting on the blog. "We still think Oct. 7 is the scheduled release date, give or take any delays."
That posting added that the "tear-drop-shaped iPhone 5" is experiencing "design and production delays," and could be "delayed slightly at the very least and may see shortages all the way into 2012."
Meanwhile, Apple will reportedly send the "golden master" of its upcoming iOS mobile operating system to its iPhone and iPod Touch manufacturing partners sometime in late September, according to the Apple-centric blog MacRumors.
That blog drew its information from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who apparently threw some cold water on reports of an overhauled iPhone in the works. "His sources point to the -N94' iPhone that has been popularly referred to as the -iPhone 4S' as the sole new iPhone model set to ship," read the Sept. 12 posting, "with Apple planning for 30 million units through the end of the year."
That counters other reports of Apple planning a revamped iPhone 5.
Apple itself is undergoing a seismic transition with the resignation of longtime CEO Steve Jobs, who handed the reins to former COO Tim Cook. At this point, analysts generally view the disruption from the transition as minimal, at least when it comes to the product pipeline. Rumors also suggest Apple will release the next iPad sometime early next year.