Apple will start manufacturing the iPhone 5 in August, in preparation for a third-quarter launch.
That's the latest rumor stems from Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty, who stated flatly in a note to investors that the next iPhone "will begin production in mid to late August and ramp aggressively." Her information apparently came from talks with unnamed sources in Taiwan.
"We also believe Apple is in the early design stages for a TV, which could add $19 billion and $4.50 of annual revenue and EPS longer-term," she also wrote, according to quotes reprinted in the blog Apple Insider. That echoes a June 23 research note from Piper Jaffray's Gene Munster, who suggested Apple is developing a television set for launch sometime in 2012.
As summer progresses, the drumbeat of iPhone 5-related rumors has only increased in tempo. Bloomberg reported June 21 that the next iPhone will debut in September and include the company's faster A5 processor, along with an 8-megapixel camera and the recently introduced iOS 5 mobile operating system.
In addition, that Bloomberg report claimed that Apple is developing a smaller, cheaper iPhone that utilizes "chips and displays of similar quality to today's iPhone 4." That device will apparently embrace the iPhone 4's design aesthetic.
Boy Genius Report also cited August as a possible start date for the iPhone 5's launch. "According to our source, Apple may hold an event in the beginning or middle of August to announce the new iPhone, with availability to follow in the last week of August," read a June 21 posting, which also predicted that Apple will employ a "radical new case design" for the smartphone.
An August unveiling would represent a decided change of pace for Apple, which usually hosts a mobility-centric event in September, usually centered on the newest refresh of the iPod line. It would be easy enough to adjust that event to accommodate the iPhone, which has been cannibalizing the iPod's market share over the past several quarters.
All that being said, Apple-centric blogs' predictions end up being wrong a significant percentage of the time. Nonetheless, they serve as something of an early-warning system for releases from ultra-secretive Apple.
During a June 6 presentation at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference, company executives claimed that more than 200 million iOS devices had been sold, in the process occupying some 44 percent of the operating system market. The veracity of that market percentage aside, Apple is certainly feeling pressure to keep iOS evolving in order to keep ahead of the growing family of increasingly sophisticated Android devices; in addition, Apple faces additional competition from the likes of Research In Motion's BlackBerry franchise and Microsoft's Windows Phone.