Another day, another next generation iPhone prediction. This one seems to make sense, at lease based upon historical Apple iOS event dates and iPhone hardware announcements. Analyst Gene Munster with Piper Jaffray calculated the number of days between these two events for the past three years. Also listed in the chart below from AppleInsider is the actual iPhone ship date.
Extrapolating these numbers based on this year's iOS event in San Francisco scheduled for June 6 points to an August 24 iPhone 5 or iPhone 4S announcement. This would place the shipping date for the new hardware squarely in the middle of September. These predictions mesh well with previous information we've heard over the past few months.
In fact, recent information coming from suppliers in China indicate that Apple has put in components orders several months later than usual. Much speculation has surrounded the events in Japan and whether or not the recent earthquake disaster has caused shortages in critical components needed to manufacture the next generation iPhone. Regardless, Apple's mobile hardware release schedule was certainly affected by the mid-cycle launch of the Verizon iPhone 4 at the beginning of 2011.
Followed by the white iPhone 4 release last month, these later additions to the iPhone 4 family of products make it likely that Apple plans to hold off on releasing a new model. The company is still expected to have the iPhone 5 on the market before the holiday shopping season comes into full swing this November and December. Further delays may be on the horizon, as Apple component manufacturer Foxconn recently suffered an explosion at its plant and has halted production of the iPad 2 while the accident is investigated.Leaks and rumors out of China lean towards Apple revising the iPhone 4 design but not radically changing the form factor. Some believe the device will be named the iPhone 4S, similar to the company's move from the iPhone 3G to the iPhone 3GS. Regardless, the device is expected to come with iOS 5 possibly featuring a new multitasking interface and a revised version of MobileMe. This iCloud streaming music and storage service could be announced at the iOS event on June 6 mentioned above. Stay tuned for updates as Foxconn gets more information on the facility accident and Apple prepares for its keynote in two weeks.