Apple's iPhone 5 will likely not launch in June.
However, a posting on a Korean Website, ERNews.co.kr, sparked a brief flurry of rumor mongering when it reported that Apple's next smartphone would launch in the fourth week of June. "Apple has confirmed that iPhone 5 will be released as planned and it will be released simultaneously in Korea through SK Telecom and KT," read the (translated) post.
Within hours of that news spreading around the Web-fueled in large part by its posting on Apple-centric blog MacRumors-a number of Apple watchers moved to shoot it down.
"My sources said today that rumors of an iPhone 5 release at the end of June were completely false," The Loop's Jim Dalrymple wrote in an April 5 posting. "Doesn't it seem strange to anyone else that Apple would confirm the release of the iPhone 5 in Korea before confirming it in the U.S.?"
Daring Fireball's John Gruber fired off a broadside of his own: "What kind of sense would it make for Apple to release or announce a new iPhone in June and not do it at WWDC? Do people even think before they publish stuff like this?"
Dalrymple had suggested in March that Apple will delay the iPhone 5 past the usual summer release date for its smartphones, to later in 2011.
"Apple's apparent focus on software in its [Worldwide Developers Conference] announcement backs up what my own sources are saying about the annual conference," he wrote in a March 28 posting. "That is, expect a software show in 2011, not a hardware event."
To top that off, other sources suggested to TechCrunch that the actual release of iOS 5, the next iteration of Apple's mobile software, could also be delayed until fall. Combined with an iPhone 5 launch in that period, this would significantly alter Apple's usual habit of previewing and releasing both smartphone hardware and software in the spring-to-summer time frame.
"The new iOS will be heavily built around the cloud, and we could see several new services launch from Apple that take advantage of this," read TechCrunch's March 26 report. "But much of the cloud stuff will be talked about first at WWD, Apple's developer event which takes place in June."
Current rumors suggest the iPhone 5 will feature higher-resolution cameras (possibly built by Sony), Apple's A5 proprietary processor, hardware upgraded to enable 3G FaceTime video conferencing, and NFC (near-field communication) technology that would enable the smartphone to act as an electronic wallet. All those features would allow Apple to compete more heartily against the growing family of Google Android devices, some of which boast increasingly powerful hardware.