Apple already prepping for an iPhone 5S in Q1? Really?

Rumor mill suggests a new iPhone 5S and iPad may be in the works for an early 2013 release

Technology trends and news by Faith Merino
November 12, 2012
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Is Apple already gearing up for an iPhone 5S release?  That’s the word on the street after Chinese news source The Commercial Times reported Monday that Apple is gunning for a test production as early as December.  The paper reports that Apple is looking at an initial production volume of 50,000 to 100,000 units and will begin volume production in Q1 of next year.  In addition to a new iPhone, we may see a new iPad in Q2. 

It’s hard to believe that Apple could be seriously entertaining the idea of releasing a new iPhone some six months after releasing their last one, but it would jibe with Apple’s recent deviation from its clockwork annual iPhone/iPad release.  The company notably released a new fourth generation iPad just six months after releasing its third generation iPad, but whether or not that was a good idea is up for debate.

The Commercial Times reports that the display resolution on the last iPad was “lower than expected,” which is why Apple is already on the move to get a new iPad out.  It’s not clear whether the publication is referring to the regular iPad or the iPad mini, since the iPad mini is the one that came under fire for having a lower resolution.

But more importantly, if this rumor is true, it would mean that Apple is officially throwing its traditional annual release cycle to the wind.  True: its competitors don’t release new devices once a year, but Apple’s highly anticipated release events are a big part of what makes the Apple brand its popular appeal.  The energy build-up leading up to an Apple event has become a global cultural phenomenon.  It’s like Christmas. 

While Google, Samsung, and HTC don’t observe a once-a-year release cycle for their smartphones and devices, one competitor does: Amazon.  And one thing that Amazon is known for is its brand awareness.  Remember once upon a time, before the Kindle Fire, when analysts predicted that the only company with the brand awareness to give Apple a run for its money in the smartphone and tablet markets was Amazon. 

But then again, Google and Samsung have become major competitors, and it’s possible that Apple is having to compromise some of its Father Christmas-like brand identity to compete effectively.  It’s already had to sacrifice its margins to compete with its competitors.

We’ll see if this rumor stays alive, and if so , then there’s probably some merit to it. 


Image source: mashable

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