iPhone 5 Europe Release Oct. 15; Massive Pent-Up U.S. Demand
French iPhone carrier service Orange’s CEO Stephane Richard let slip in a guest appearance on BFM Business that the iPhone 5 will be available in France on October 15. The Mac4Ever site’s arnaud quotes Richard saying: “If I believe what we were told, the iPhone 5 will be released Oct. 15.”
THat squares with an iPhone 5 and iOS 5 launch timeline posted Tuesday by BusinessInsider’s Steve Kovach which also predicts that the iPhone 5 and iOS 5 will be ready for launch by mid-October. MacRumors’ Eric Slivka reports that In a new research note by analyst Ming-Chi Kuo reports that Apple expect to ship the golden master build of iOS 5 to its iPhone and iPod touch manufacturing subcontractors during the September 23rd through 30th interval, which would also point to a mid-October launch of the new iPhone once the operating system is on already-produced hardware and shipped to distribution channels.
However, Slivka also reports that Kuo is sticking to his story that he’s seen no evidence of a substantially redesigned iPhone 5 in the supply side pipeline, with his sources pointing to the “N94″ iPhone that has been provisionally dubbed “iPhone 4S” by rumoristas as the only new iPhone model set to ship, with Apple ramping up production of 30 million units by year-end, along with 5 million additional iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS units to tide over transition to the new model.
As for contentions that the N94 could be a decoy, while Apple keeps a redesigned iPhone 5 under tight wraps, Kuo is cited by Appleinsider’s Neil Hughes saying he’s seeing no signs of such a model anywhere in Apple’s supply chain, and reports that the N94 will ship with 512 MB of RAM and the same A5 chip as used in the iPad 2. He also reportedly notes that the handset’s case thickness limiting factor is the amera module’s height, with the camera modules for the new iPhone made by Sony and Omnivision expected to be almost the same height as the ones in the iPhone 4, so the next iPhone is not likely to be significantly thinner than the iPhone 4. The Retina display will also remain the same 3.5″ unit used in the iPhone 4, and that while Kuo isn’t 100 percent confident on the point, his sources are suggesting that Apple will use the same basic iPhone 4 form factor, with its glass back panel, and while it’s expected to have an improved antenna design, there will be little change to its shape, and users are not expected to see a discernable difference in the phone’s appearance.
Meanwhile, on the demand side, The Globe and Mail Report on Business’s Michael Babad reports that RBC Dominion Securities analysts are predicting “unprecedented” demand for the iPhone 5 and the domination of the iPad in the tablet market, citing a proprietary RBC survey by the firm’s Mike Abramsky, Mark Sue and Paul Treiberdata showing that 31 percent of respondents overall are very/somewhat likely to buy an iPhone 5, which handily exceeds pre-iPhone 4 launch buying intentions (25 percent) from a year and a half ago. Among current iPhone owners, buy iPhone 5 sentiment is more than twice as high, with, 66 percent of existing iPhone users affirming that they are very/somewhat likely to buy the iPhone 5.
Citing the same RBC note to investors as Babad, Fortune’s Philip Elmer-DeWitt reports that 54% of surveyed Sprint subscribers and 53% of surveyed T-Mobile subscribers also say they are significantly/somewhat more likely to buy the iPhone, if it becomes available with their respective carriers.