A new rumor claims that the Apple iPhone 5 will go into production in September 2011. Furthermore, Apple may be developing a cheaper iPhone model with lower specifications. That's according to Avian Securities, which makes its claims based on conversations with a "key component supplier" to Apple.
This rumor is interesting because it lines up with a few other ones. In respect to the lower-spec/lower-price iPhone, we're still skeptical about this one, which has been rumored since February, but we do believe Apple could pull it off. It would be difficult for Cupertino to differentiate multiple devices while still touting the iPhone as a premium smartphone, but it's definitely possible. Business Insider has the full note:
Supporting out comments over the last month, conversations with yet another key component supplier indicates that production for iPhone-5 will begin in September. This is consistent with Avian findings in the supply chain in recent months and we believe the consensus view is moving towards this scenario. In addition, our conversations also indicate the existence of a lower-spec/lower-priced iPhone in Apple's roadmap. However, while our contacts have seen the placeholder in the Apple roadmap, they do not yet have insight into specs or production timing. This leads us to believe that any launch is likely a very late 2011 or more likely a 2012 event. As a reminder, Avian has uncovered several data-points in recent months pointing to the existence of a lower-spec/lower-price iPhone. A lower-spec/lower-price iPhone has also been speculated in the press and gadget blogs, though we do not believe consensus currently discounts the existence of such a model.
Apple may not have announced a release date for the iPhone 5, but it was largely expected to arrive two months from now, given the iPhone's history. The first iPhone was released on June 29, 2007. The iPhone 3G was introduced on June 9, 2008. The iPhone 3GS was announced on June 8, 2009 and arrived on June 19, 2009 in the first countries. The iPhone 4 was announced on June 7, 2010 and released on June 24, 2010.
As such, we think Apple will either have the iPhone 5 ready for this holiday season, or will push it back till 2012. Either way, it will likely ship with a larger screen, thinner bezel and possibly an 8MP camera from Sony.