With a new iPad and a new Apple TV just released and the long-rumored iTV still taking its first steps out of the land of the hypothetical, the Apple rumor mill is turning its attention to the upcoming iPhone. While details are still a little thin on the ground at this point, some information is starting to emerge about Apple's next flagship device.
One of the things that's been most in doubt about the new iPhone is its release date. Will Apple revert to the summer release schedule that they stuck with for four generations of iPhone and release in June? Or will they preserve the twelve-month window between releases and launch the next iPhone in the fall? Some information is starting to emerge that suggests the later date. Yesterday we brought you news that Foxconn was beginning a recruiting push in order to build up its workforce ahead of the next iPhone's production. Considering that it's already March, that sort of a recruiting effort suggests that the iPhone has not begun production yet, which argues against a release in just three months.
Now there are new reports that seem to confirm an autumn release. According to a report from RepairLabs, Texas Instruments has begun producing power management chips for the next iPhone. Historically, TI's chip production has begun a few months ahead of the debut of a new iPhone. As corroboration, RepairLabs also cites reports from their sources in China say that the next iPhone will debut in September, and will sport a larger screen than the traditional 3.5-inch version that has appeared on the first five iPhones.
Interestingly, according to their source the next iPhone is being called the "iPhone 5" within Texas Instruments. While this has been the rumored name for months, it is appearing increasingly less likely. For one thing, the next iPhone is actually Apple's sixth iPhone, which would suggest "iPhone 6" as the name. The launch of the latest iPad, however, changes expectations about the next iPhone completely, though. With the newest iPad, Apple dropped the numbering scheme altogether, simply calling the device "the new iPad." Given that, it is highly unlikely that they will continue the numbering scheme the iPhone. Thus, in all likelihood, the next iPhone (and every iPhone after it) will simply be "the new iPhone."
At any rate, it's looking increasingly likely that the next iPhone will be coming in the fall, like the last iPhone. No doubt more information will emerge in the coming months. We'll be sure to keep you updated as it happens.