Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is now expected to begin production of its new smartphone in the "late third quarter." That would push the iPhone 5 release date into September at the earliest, and is expected to finally interest from Verizon-cum-CDMA crowd. In IT Blogwatch, bloggers read the rumor runes and fan the feature flames.
Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment. Not to mention: Ever wondered why your fridge suddenly seems empty?..
Josh Ong goes on and on:
Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty ... predicts a late third quarter release for the next-generation iPhone ... after meetings in Taiwan. ... Lower priced iPhones and an Apple-branded TV may also be in the works.
...Apple has demanded 10 percent price cuts from iPad suppliers ... [of] printed circuit boards, optical components, batteries ... and touch panels. ... Huberty sees the ... more than 6 percent ... dip in Apple's share price as a buying opportunity. ... Morgan Stanley reiterated its Overweight rating ... price target of $428.
Brian Caulfield quips the iPhone 5 is "going to roll right over Apple bears":
Katy Huberty wrote in a note ... We believe the share price will rise ... over the next 60 days. ... Apple shares ... have gone nowhere this year.
...That will change, Huberty argues. ... Japan is recovering after the earthquake-tsunami-nuclear meltdown. ... Apple can put pressure on suppliers for better prices. ... A new iPhone is coming.
Jonny Evans has his own saucy sources:
China Mobile ... seemingly confirmed the iPhone  hits its network in September. ... Liu Yang, the firm's marketing official [blogged], "A new iPhone ... will debut ... in September." ... Apple and China Mobile now seem to be in damage control mode.
...The combined GSM/CDMA worldphone iPhone 5 seems set to be twice as fast ... with an A5 processor, 8-megapixel camera ... [and] improved flash. ... Screen size may be larger with the loss of the physical Home button. ... [It's] likely to help Apple set new financial results records as ... China [will] become its biggest global market.
And Tony Bradley blogs, "Game over, like 2007 all over again":
Apple has an opportunity to set the bar ... again, and leave the competition in the dust. ... Many Verizon customers held off knowing that a new iPhone is just around the corner.
The improvements in the iOS  mail client, ... iMessage, tabbed browsing ... [and] Notification Center will all contribute. ... Apple will also officially launch iCloud around the same time the iPhone 5 is expected.
...We don't really know what the ... hardware specs will be just yet. But, just the things we already know ... [will] leave all smartphone competitors playing catch-up.
Meanwhile, Philip Elmer-DeWitt revives the iPhone 4S rumor:
In a note issued early Monday, Deutsche Bank's Chris Whitmore is telling clients to [also] expect ... an iPhone 4S ... "The time is right for Apple to aggressively penetrate the mid range ... to dramatically expand its ... market share."
...An iPhone 4S ... echoing the nomenclature Apple used ... when it introduced the iPhone 3GS ... priced around $349, and comes with a pre-paid voice plan would ... address [a] market that has grown to ... 1.5 billion potential customers in 98 countries. ... There are large swaths of the world ... where iPhone penetration is low [and] customers prefer to pay the full cost of the phone.
Which sounds like mixed news to Linda Sharps:
It's more affordable ... [so] you could ... get one for your kid. ... because sometimes the only way to get [them] to shut their whine-hole is ... Angry Birds, and handing over your own phone sucks.
So a cheaper iPhone might be just the thing. ... If the rumors are true ... maybe this could be a useful extra family phone. ... We don't have a landline any more, so a ... phone that the kids have access to ... might be a good thing.
...[But] at $349 ... it sounds too expensive to me. ... Guess I'll have to keep sharing my phone ... a distraction is worth the potential of a broken/permanently slimed touchscreen.
But Edwin Kee seems a tad wearisome:
[It's] gone through the rumor mill so many times [I] cant quite tell what is what.
...If you are not in a hurry to purchase a new iPhone, will this piece of news make you wait? ... Or dont you really care ... knowing that an iPhone 4 ... is good enough for everyday use?
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Richi Jennings is an independent analyst/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and security. He's the creator and main author of Computerworld's IT Blogwatch -- for which he has won American Society of Business Publication Editors and Jesse H. Neal awards on behalf of Computerworld. He also writes The Long View for IDG Enterprise. A cross-functional IT geek since 1985, you can follow him as @richi on Twitter, pretend to be richij's friend on Facebook, or just use good old email: email@example.com. You can also read Richi's full profile and disclosure of his industry affiliations.