iPhone 5 rumor prediction timeline

Every year a new iPhone is released. Every year we here some crazy rumors and some accurate ones. All of them supposedly from “reliable sources near the supply chain”, or someone “high up” at a random phone retailer. Wherever they’re from, enough rumors come out to virtually ensure that at least someone gets something right, even if it is just guess work. These guys are then trusted as “previously reliable”, and so the cycle continues. Here’s what to expect between now and October. (Friendly warning: don’t take it too seriously.)

March

  • Arguments about whether it will be called iPhone 5 or iPhone 6 will get more heated. iPhone 4, 4S, 5 makes sense in a sequential way. iPhone 6 because it’s sixth generation, makes as much sense. General public may get confused, but they generally are about phones in the first place.
  • WSJ will have some information about the release date. September/October looking likely.
  • DigiTimes will spew out some randomly plausible and predictable rumor about the iPhone 5/6 having the A6 processor.

April

  • WWDC is only two months away, someone will get nervous and hit the rumor panic button. “iPhone could still make an appearance at WWDC.” Said panicked rumor spinner will later change his mind, just to cover the bases.
  • Developers will be testing prototypes, and leak some info. Once more, T-mobile iPhone speculation crops up tied along with something about 4G LTE.
  • DigiTimes will say something completely contradictory to what it said last month. A source from the supply chain will indicate that they have their hands on Apple branded quad-core processors, but they won’t be ready until Christmas. Release date being pushed back again?
  • Fanboys who read too much in to rumors will read the latest from DigiTimes and cry in to their piles of discarded Apple stickers.

May

  • T-mobile iPhone is coming! Or not, it’s still in testing. Magenta subscribers continue clinging on to a dwindling hope that this year will be their year.
  • Several really cool concept mockups based on “leaked” drawings will surface. Bets on MacRumors making the best one. (Despite being wrong last year, the iPhone 5 mockup was awesome, Kudos to them.)
  • Leaked photo of an old iPhone 4S prototype with 128GB storage will surface.
  • 5 months in to the year without an iPhone exclusive from BGR means one should surface around now. The usual “big iPhone story coming up” tweet will be spilled before an anticlimactic rumor is released. It’ll either be a painfully obvious feature rumor, or one that’s completely unlikely.
  • Has DigiTimes said anything this month yet? Wow. Oh wait, no – 3 times in one week just hits: a) Apple ends deal with Sharp because they’re not fast enough at producing displays, b) 4G LTE chipset rumors make the rounds again, c) Someone else tells them about Sharp, and tells them that Sony is preferred. Or something.
    .

June

  • WWDC is about to kick off, when the web is festooned with bloggers (including myself) giving reasons why Apple could launch a new iPhone this summer. We just want to cover our backsides in case something happens. It probably won’t.
  • No iPhone at WWDC – Again, what’s with Apple focussing on software at a Developer’s conference?! Disgusting.
  • More dedicated Fanboys recreate the end scenes of Return of the Jedi, placing all their stored up Mac/iPhone/iPad/iPod packaging in huge bonfires. With the smell of smoke and charred clothing, they begin to line up outside Apple stores the next day, in vain hope that the iPhone 5 will launch soon.
  • Sources from the supply chain say that production trial runs will begin soon – full production to kick off at the end of August.
  • An insignificant internal part will be leaked – a flex cable that could well be from a Nintendo DS for all we know.
  • Someone drops the bombshell that we may not see a new iPhone until 2013. The sound of coffee cups marked with colorful Apple logos smashing on floors plus resulting vibrations convinces Cupertino residents that a low-level Earthquake has just struck.

July

  • A whole month after WWDC and no real news on the iPhone 5. People panic. They can’t handle not knowing. Tweets like “when’s the next iPhone out” will appear with more frequent occurrence. I will ignore most of them.
  • Someone predicts the next iPhone launch date and subsequent release: October 5th, to mark the anniversary of Steve Jobs’ death. It’s on a Friday too, which makes it all the more likely.
  • A clever analyst disagrees with the above statement, stating that his informants say that end of November is more likely.
  • A 4″ display leaks.
  • Rumored fantasized features get people’s hopes up from the end of July. This month: 3D display?

August

  • Someone predicts September launch.
  • September launch sends speculation creators in to a frenzy.
  • iPhone 5 to have no SIM card slot? Apple is reinventing the way you make calls so you no longer need a carrier.
  • More quad-core speculation.
  • Everybody ignores the sensible “person in the know” who says we’ll see a larger screen, slightly better camera, and faster dual-core processor but no 4G. (This guy ends up being right eventually, but no one remembers him, because they’re living in dream world.)
  • 4G LTE in testing?
  • Blurry camera image of prototype of someone sitting on a bus near Cupertino shows up. Looks bigger, flatter, wider.. etc.
  • DigiTimes says iPhone is only just going in to production now – won’t be ready until October.
  • More leaked parts surface. More indistinguishable internal components. Probably from a Radio Controlled car.

September

  • Chinese manufacturers leak images of cases made for the next iPhone, despite knowing as little as we do about the “5″.
  • T-mobile girl spotted coming out of Apple HQ – sparks more rumors about a Magenta flavored iPhone.
  • Concept mockup designed based on case leaks. If true, the iPhone will be huge, powerful and specced up. Very un-Apple like, but our over excited minds won’t know whether to believe it or not. In desperate hope, we cling to this rumor as if it’s truth.
  • More parts leaked: more recognizable parts like Camera lens and possible 4″ display.
  • Camera could be 8MP or 12MP?
  • All possible dates of release covered. From September 29th through to December 31st, every day of every week a new possibility is sited.
  • Fanboys mark their calendars with each of them, and book three months of extended leave.
  • New rumor: Apple app exclusive to next iPhone will enable bovine creatures to fulfil their long awaited desire to fly over the moon. Side effects: burn up on re-entry cause the little dog to stop laughing and start salivating. Well done steak is on the menu. Dish and spoon get ready for plating up.
  • Apple to have 3D display rumor is kicked off again – countered with leak patent detailing a possible holographic display.
  • Rumor: next iPhone can predict future.
  • Rumor: updated Siri to project digital butler hologram using an advanced pico projector built in to the phone.
  • Apple sends out invites to an event.
    .

October

  • Last few days before the event: the internet crashes. Everyone’s too impatient to wait a couple of days to see what Apple announces. We all start predicting what’s going to happen.
  • Too many people believe the flying cow rumor.
  • DigiTimes states flying cow is nonsense. Flying pig more likely.
  • Apple’s iPhone event, finally! Fanboys cry tears of happiness.
  • Next iPhone: slightly better than the current one in every area. Big improvement: display is bigger.
  • No T-mobile announcement. “Maybe next year.”
  • We’re all disappointed. What do you mean there’s no holographic butler?
  • One week later, more people than ever before line up to buy the iPhone 5.

Have I missed anything? Tweet me: @TiP_Cam. Use the hashtag #stupidiPhonerumors.

 

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