Back to No New iPhone Rumors

Well we’re back to the no new redesigned iPhone for this fall rumor wise.

This time it’s analyst Ming-Chi Kuo stating to MacRumors that the N94 generally thought to be the iPhone 4S  is heading for production and the iO5 is being released to manufacturers for loading onto new devices by the end of this month which projects out to a launch in mid October. In addition, Kuo’s sources indicate nothing related to the redesigned iPhone 5.

There’s also been a bunch of leaks from Sprint lately related to the iPhone 4/5.  The most recent rumor indicated that Sprint sales team was told that they were be selling the iPhone 4 this fall, not the iPhone 5. 

The only real evidence of a redesigned iPhone 5 is the case manufacturers, who were completely accurate on the redesigned iPad 2 before launch.

Along those same lines courtesy of an article from MacRumors and UK website unwire.hk , there’s a leaked image of a screen protector that seems to be based on the specs of the alleged iPhone 5 cases, in addition it has an elongated home button that has been rumored. Here’s the image from unwire.hk. Could be the same rumor source as the cases, and to date no parts of this design have leaked to date. And a plastic screen cover is just as cheap or cheaper to product than a plastic case, so it could again simply be someone trying to get a jump on the market for iPhone 5 accessories. Still this bigger iPhone 5 with new home button navigation could be a compelling design.

And perhaps the strongest sign of confidence from the case world, major case provider/vendor Case-Mate has an updated page featuring several versions of the new iPhone 5 case. Great scoop from BGR to find this page since you cannot navigate to the page (and MoD is not sure the link will still be working later). Case-Mate has language on their page hedging their bets on what the iPhone 5 will really be, but they felt confident enough to put out this design image on their website. And that’s not a case for an updated iPhone 4.

Now, if Apple just releases an updated iPhone 4 this October, it’s going to be the first significant miss by Apple in four years. The smartphone business is moving far too fast for Apple to stick with the same design from last summer. It the updated iPhone 4 had been released in June that might have been acceptable. But the 4 month delay and Apple’s current 12 month refresh cycle means no “new” iPhone until October 2012. And that’s just too late. The iPhone is the number one product in Apple’s entire portfolio to neglect it by not expanding the lineup and by not countering the near endless lineup of 4 inch screen iPhone competitors would be shocking.

There are only really two options.

1. Apple for whatever reason is going to try and hold on with an updated iPhone 4. Maybe Apple wants the iPhone 5 to be the LTE/4G iPhone next summer.  A huge marketing push for the new device with the upgraded data connection will then be created.

2. After the disaster with the iPhone 4 being lost in California and completely leaked in Vietnam before that, for Tim Cook’s first product release event Apple has managed to keep the design and look of the iPhone 5 secret from all analysts and rumor sites with the only leak being to some case designers in China.

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