Apple’s iPhone 5 is undoubtedly launching this year. The big question however is, when this year? Some reports suggest that Apple will unveil the iPhone 5 over the summer, since historically that has been the most common time for it to offer such a product. Other reports, however, say Apple will most likely wait until October or so to launch the device to give its current products some breathing room and the opportunity to maximize sales.
Although Apple hasn’t given any indication when it might actually launch the iPhone 5, an October release date seems to make some sense. From the competitive landscape to the possibility of Apple launching other products over the summer, it would appear that the fall is the perfect time over the next several months for the iPhone 5 to appear on store shelves.
Think it’ll launch at some point before October? Read on to find out about some of the evidence that might call predictions of a summertime release into question and add credence to claims that the iPhone 5 will appear worldwide in October.
1. Waiting on the Galaxy S III wave
If Samsung’s mobile strategy plays out the way it should, the Galaxy S III, which is slated to be unveiled on May 3, could have strong sales over the next several months. With that in mind, Apple might want to wait until the Galaxy S III wave has died down to limit the number of major competitors it needs to face. Granted,the iPhone 5 will likely outsell any device, but why take on a major competitor if it can be avoided?
2. What about Amazon?
One of the big question marks in the mobile space right now is Amazon’s reported plans to launch a smartphone sometime this year. What that device might come with and the features it might offer have yet to be revealed. So, it might be a good idea for Apple to wait and see what Amazonarguably its chief tablet competitoris doing in the smartphone market before unveiling its own device.
3. Consider the iPhone 4S release date
Let’s not forget that if Apple launches the iPhone 5 this summer, it would be little more than eight months after its iPhone 4S hit store shelves. By offering a new iPhone just several months after the iPhone 4S’ launch, Apple might risk annoying those consumers who bought the device, thinking that they had a year to use it before the next smartphone would launch. Waiting a year is a much better idea.
4. Holidays, holidays, holidays
The fact that the iPhone 4S launched just prior to the height of the holiday-shopping season last year was a key factor in Apple’s record fourth-quarter sales. And Apple CEO Tim Cook knows it. Expect Apple to capitalize on holiday shopping again this year with an iPhone 5 launch in October.
Dont Look for iPhone 5 Before Its Time
5. More time to make changes
Apple knows the value of time. And it understands that the longer it waits to launch a device, the more time it can spend perfecting the design or fixing problems that inevitably crop up. More importantly, it can spend more time waiting for the latest and greatest components to launch, so it can bundle neat new features into the device.
6. It won’t be evolutionary
If the iPhone 5 was designed to be an evolutionary upgrade like the iPhone 4S, it would make sense for the device to launch over the summer. But Apple historically has not offered two evolutionary devices in a row. Therefore, we can expect the iPhone 5 to be a revolutionary upgrade. And as history has proved, revolutionary upgrades take time to launch.
7. Leave summer to MacBooks
Apple has yet to launch the long-rumored updates to its MacBook Air and MacBook Pro line. Most rumors suggest that the updates could come at some point in the next few months, potentially putting them at odds with the iPhone 5. Today’s consumers have a finite amount of cash that they can spend. The last thing Apple wants to do is force customers to choose between MacBooks and its iPhone.
8. Where will Mountain Lion fit?
Apple is also expected to launch Mountain Lion this year. Though it’s not clear exactly when that launch might happen, Apple has said that it will come down this summer. As with MacBooks, does Apple want to overshadow a key operating system launch with its iPhone 5? It better not.
9. Consider Foxconn changes
Apple earlier this year brought in the Fair Labor Association to audit working conditions in its Foxconn supplier facilities across China. Since the audit results were publicized, Foxconn has decided to reduce work hours, causing a temporary issue with productivity. It’s not clear how long those productivity issues will continue, but Apple might hold the iPhone 5 launch back because of it.
10. Carrier considerations
Finally, it’s important to not discount the impact carriers can have on the iPhone’s launch. AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and the many international carriers might prefer that Apple wait until later this year so they too can capitalize on holiday sales. In any event, the carriers will likely have something to say about whether or not they really wantApple to launch its iPhone 5 over the summer.