iPhone 5 delayed until September, says report
Reuters cites supply chain sources; analyst says Apple wants more on hand to meet higher demand
Computerworld - Apple won't start selling the next iPhone until September, sources have told the Reuters news service, adding to the chorus that the company will abandon a four-year practice.
"I think that's likely," said Ezra Gottheil, an analyst with Technology Business Research. "Apple has a supply chain that's busting at the seams trying to keep up with demand, and it's been at least dinged by the natural disasters in Japan."
Later today, Apple will hold its quarterly earnings call with Wall Street analysts, but Gottheil wasn't expecting to hear any news then about what most have dubbed the iPhone 5. Traditionally, Apple executives refuse to discuss unannounced products.
Tuesday, Reuters cited multiple anonymous sources within Apple's component ecosystem who said that production of the next-generation iPhone will begin in June or July, with shipping starting in September.
If accurate, it would be the first time Apple has launched a new iPhone outside of the June-July window, the prime factor in analysts' earlier predictions that the company would unveil the iPhone 5 in early June at its usual Worldwide Developers Conference venue.
Apple's success in selling iPhones may be at the heart of the problem, Gottheil said.
"To not drive people insane at launch, Apple may feel the need to have a larger inventory than in the past," said Gottheil. "Of course, that's goodness for Apple. But it sounds like what's happening."
Demand for the last three iPhones -- the 3G, 3GS and 4 -- greatly exceeded initial demand. In 2010, for example, Apple apologized for botching pre-orders, while AT&T, then the only U.S. carrier selling the iPhone, suspended early orders.
With out-the-gate sales increasing annually, Gottheil's point that Apple needs a larger supply before starting to sell the smartphone could be on the money.
Other analysts are also now leaning to a later launch.
"We expect the iPhone 5 launch to be more of a September event," Brian White, of Ticonderoga Securities, said in a research note to clients.
Even so, White stuck to his estimate of 16.2 million iPhones sold in the year's third quarter. "This should at least be achievable despite our expectation of a September iPhone 5 launch given the continued momentum for iPhone 4 and a bit of help from a potential 'white' iPhone 4 launch at the end of April," wrote White.
Last June, Apple acknowledged "challenging" manufacturing issues involving the white iPhone 4, and promised it would show up later that month. Recent reports, however, have pegged the almost-mythical device's launch to next week.
Most analysts expect Apple to post another strong quarter later today, with sales growth dramatically higher than the PC industry average.
"Although the iPhone and iPad 'halo effect' is clearly bringing a lot of new people into the stores, the main reason is that Apple has successfully transitioned the Mac into a qualitatively different thing from a PC," said Gottheil. "They've done that not on the basis of faster processors or more memory, but on the back of their customer support infrastructure."
Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed . His e-mail address is email@example.com.
- Apple's CarPlay vs. MirrorLink: Is there a need for both?
- Apple's CarPlay to spark mobile apps war in your car
- iTunes is almost as big a biz as OEM Windows
- Icahn says 'I can't' and stops $50B fight over Apple stock buyback
- Lenovo-Moto deal's impact on Apple? Zip
- Office 365 turns one, but success is tough to tally
- Everyone bets on bigger iPhone for '14
- Apple's iPod business collapses as revenue becomes a rounding error
- Update: More than 1B smartphones were shipped in 2013
- Cook admits Apple blew the call on the iPhone 5C
Read more about Smartphones in Computerworld's Smartphones Topic Center.
- 15 Non-Certified IT Skills Growing in Demand
- How 19 Tech Titans Target Healthcare
- Twitter Suffering From Growing Pains (and Facebook Comparisons)
- Agile Comes to Data Integration
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- HP HAVEn: See the big picture in Big Data HP HAVEn is the industry's first comprehensive, scalable, open, and secure platform for Big Data. Enterprises are drowning in a sea of data...
- What Datapipe customers need to know about the new PCI DSS 3.0 compliance standard This handy quick reference outlines what PCI DSS 3.0 is, who needs to be compliant and how Alert Logic solutions address the new...
- The 12 PCI DSS 3.0 requirements addressed by Peer 1 Hosting This handy quick reference outlines the 12 PCI DSS 3.0 requirements, who needs to be compliant and how Alert Logic solutions address the...
- Defense Throughout the Vulnerability Life Cycle This whitepaper provides insight into how to leverage threat and log management technologies to protect your IT assets throughout their vulnerability life cycle.
- Meg Whitman presents Unlocking IT with Big Data During this Web Event you will hear Meg Whitman, President and CEO, HP discuss HAVEn - the #1 Big Data platform, as well...
- The New Way to Work Knowledge Vault This Knowledge Vault focuses on how, in today's increasingly virtual world, it's more important than ever to engage deeply with employees, suppliers, partners,... All Smartphones White Papers | Webcasts