Apple to ship new iPhone 5 in September

By Reuters
Posted today at 8:21 a.m.

Apple Inc.’s next-generation iPhone will have a faster processor and will begin shipping in September, three people with direct knowledge of the company’s supply chain said.

The production of the new iPhone will start in July/August and the smartphone will look largely similar to the iPhone 4, one of the people said on Wednesday.

The iPhone — introduced in 2007 with the touchscreen, on-demand application template now adopted by its rivals — remains the gold standard in the booming smartphone market.

Reports on the timeline of the new iPhone launch vary, though it is largely expected that Apple will likely refresh its iPhone 4 later this year.

The sources declined to be identified because the plans for the new iPhone were not yet public. An Apple spokeswoman in Hong Kong was not available for comment.

The iPhone is one of Apple’s most successful products, with more than 16 million sold in the last quarter of 2010 and the product accounted for more than a third of the company’s sales in the quarter.

The current iPhone 4 was launched by Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs in June last year and began shipping the same month in 2010.

Apple sources many of its components from Taiwan-based suppliers, many of whom are expected to benefit from an uptick in sales as some of them rely on the U.S. company for about 20-40 percent of their business, said Vincent Chen, an analyst at Yuanta Securities.

“For some suppliers, Apple is their cash cow, or their bread and butter,” Chen said.

“With all these versions being launched so frequently, it will be the so-called low-margin suppliers, such as those that assemble the phones, who will benefit the most.”

Suppliers to the new iPhone include camera module maker Largan Precision Co Ltd (3008.TW), touchscreen panel maker Wintek Corp (2384.TW) and case maker Foxconn Technology Co Ltd (2354.TW), two of the people said.

The companies would begin production either in July or August before shipping components to Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd (2317.TW), flagship of Foxconn Technology Group, for assembly, they said.

Officials at Largan, Wintek and Foxconn declined to comment.

On Wednesday, Largan’s Taipei-listed shares ended up 3.7 percent, Hon Hai rose 4.3 percent and Foxconn rose 6.6 percent, outpacing the benchmark TAIEX share index’s 2 percent advance.

Apple, a big purchaser of touchscreen displays and flash memory, is also dependent on Japan for some of its key components, sparking concern that the disruption due to the crisis there may hurt its gross margins.

Apple is expected to report another spectacular quarter on Wednesday, tempered by growing caution over how supply constraints will squeeze margins and restrain iPhone and iPad sales.

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  1. jack (me) Today at 9:09 a.m.

    Nothing about the phone here, but the article touts the stock of Taiwanese companies.

    How is what Apple is doing any different from the hated Walmart? Apple isn’t sourcing the components from California!

  2. kmulkey Today at 9:18 a.m.

    They’re paying their people a decent wage

  3. Vaughan Johnson Today at 9:33 a.m.

    No details because it’s probably not going to get much of an upgrade other than a faster processor and maybe a bigger screen.

    Also, iPhone’s are hardly the “gold standard” anymore. They’re outsold by Android phones which are cheaper and more capable.

  4. Mike Owens Today at 10:18 a.m.

    Android’s are more capable – of battery drain and memory leaks. The sales figures are flawed as well. Nearly 100 Android models and just one iPhone; two if you’d like to consider the 3GS as it’s still being sold. iTunes integration and safety of purchasing apps is what gives the iPhone the massive advantage.

    The open source nature of the Android has resulted in a fragmented ecosystem. There isn’t ONE Android operating system and ONE set of hardware specs; as such, app developers focus on Apple first and Android “when they have time.”

    Android (while borrowing heavily from the iOS: swipe, touch, etc) is a good thing because it pushes Apple even more to be innovative. But make no mistake, Apple leads and others follow.

  5. Dan Today at 10:35 a.m.

    I have an Android right now. Was waiting for Verizon to finally get the iPhone, and now I’m just waiting for my contract to expire. The keypad for the Android is really good–makes it easier and quicker to text. Having said that, the battery for the Droid is pretty bad, and I usually have to charge my phone every night. Also, while the number of apps have improved dramatically since it first launched, the Android market is still not even close to the App store.

  6. Chuck Today at 10:36 a.m.

    Also for now Android devices are limited to the youth market. Corporate IT departments cannot support Android until Google figures out how to add fundamental security protections that have been standard on iphone and blackberry for years. That is tough when you are allowing hardware manufacturers to customize your OS. They may get there someday, but it is an incredible gap. And then there is the matter of malware, which has apparently been a
    problem in Android because of the unfiltered app store.

  7. AJ Cooper Today at 10:41 a.m.

    Sales figures do not a “gold standard” make. $10,000 cars probably outsell a $80,000 BMW but that doesn’t mean they’re better or a “Gold standard.”

  8. eddie Today at 11:43 a.m.

    Will this iPhone track your movements as well?

  9. Rob Today at 1:36 pm

    I’ll consider an iPhone when I can change the battery without getting gouged; or browse websites that use Flash; or when I can use an SD card; or when I can install apps that I want and not only the ones that Apple approves. Until then ANDROID baby!!!

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