If the latest report ends up proving true, we could be seeing the next iPhone launch sooner than expected. A “reliable industry source” told KnowYourMobile that the next iPhone will be unveiled during an August 7 Apple keynote. The next iteration of Apple’s mobile operating system, iOS 6, is also expected to be officially released at the same time.
Last year, the iPhone 4S debuted October 4 and went on sale a week later. The iPhone 4 was launched in June at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference the year before that. This year, Apple has largely been expected to unveil the next generation iPhone in either September or October.
A late September to early October launch puts the iPhone in a good position for holiday sales, giving Apple the full span of its holiday quarter for beefy profits and sales numbers. An August launch feels a bit early for us, but Apple shook things up with the launch date of the iPhone last year, so it’s certainly in the realm of possibility.
Forrester analyst Charles Golvin told Wired that the main benefit to an August launch would be to take advantage of the back-to-school buying period. But given Apple would still need to get FCC approval by that time, Apple could face more challenges in making the new iPhone available in its stores and through operator channels to tap this opportunity. “I believe that the more likely scenario is that Apple will release the new iPhone in September-October and focus on the Christmas selling season, which is the most significant sales opportunity,” Golvin said.
Regardless of when the iPhone does officially debut overseas, enterprising sellers on a Chinese website are letting iPhone fans pre-order or order an iPhone 5 even though it hasn’t been announced yet.