Confirmed: iPhone 5 display ships this month, turnaround time in question
August 3, 2012 by Beatweek
The iPhone 5 display will ship this month, and while that alone doesn’t pinpoint a specific launch date for Apple’s upcoming smartphone, it does help narrow down the timeframe. Sharp, which is supplying the screens for the new iPhone, says it will ship the component to Apple before the month of August is over. From there it’ll be up to Apple and its factories to get the iPhone 5 assembled and out the door. Unless another hardware (or software) component holds up the works, this places Apple in line to potentially debut the new iPhone at a September press event, with a retail release date shortly thereafter. Apple has a history of September press events, most often used in the past to launch new iPods in time for the holiday shopping season, and very rarely releases new hardware products any later in the calendar year than the first week of October. While the iPhone had traditionally been upgraded each summer from 2007 to 2010, Apple introduced the iPhone 4S on October 4th of last year. The displays from Sharp are merely one component which will help determine the precise date upon which Apple will pull back the iPhone 5 curtain…
The system software for the upcoming new iPhone, called iOS 6, is already in the hands of third party app developers in unfinished beta-test form. How far away it is from release will depend largely on the feedback Apple continues to receive from developers and the changes which need to be made in order to advance iOS 6 to a point where it’s considered complete. Various hardware components could also come into play. However Apple controls its own line of A4/A5/A6 microprocessors, and prices of third party solid state memory have been dropping due to a market overflow, so those components are unlikely to be inhibiting factors. Nothing is known about the exterior body of the iPhone 5, including what kind of material it’s made out of; in the past Apple has used everything from metal to acrylic to impact resistant glass. The latter initially held up availability of the iPhone 4 in 2010 as the housing couldn’t be manufactured swiftly enough to keep up with demand. But if Apple can avoid such a pitfall with the iPhone 5, the fact that the displays are expected to arrive this month from Sharp suggests that Apple can indeed launch the iPhone 5 in September without hesitation.