iPhone 5 News Blog’s Inside Source Gets iPhone 4S Right

Boasting about getting the iPhone 4S right feels like watching a football game at someone’s funeral and fist-pumping a touchdown in the middle of a eulogy. Many iPhone users are frustrated and disappointed that Apple failed to deliver on the iPhone 5 expectations.

But as I said in another article, it isn’t really the iPhone 4S’s fault — it’s an amazing phone. The fault lies in the expectations that the iPhone 5 rumor mill raised — and Apple’ inability to manage them.

That being said, the iPhone 5 News Blog tried to set itself apart from the pack in playing the skeptic to most of the iPhone 5 rumors. No matter how much we as Apple fans hoped that they would be true, we offered a voice of dissent on virtually every bogus iPhone 5 sighting, case, photo, or otherwise.

Moreover, we were very fortunate to get the inside track on an inside source in the consumer electronics accessories industry who, early, on, told us that the next iPhone would look exactly like the iPhone 4. Our “mystery man” allowed the iPhone 5 News Blog to be the first news source to report this claim, and in the end, it proved to be totally true.

Granted, it was a truth that no one wanted to see come true. However, it should offer some consolation that we had an inkling of this for virtually half of the summer. It should also tell you that the next time our inside source tells us something, we ought to believe it!

It should also be noted that iPhone 5 News Blog writer Charles Moore and even the lesser-read Sven Rafferty reported the iPhone 4S to astonishing accuracy as far back as the Spring. charles was really the first to put the possibility up on the blog.

Here is the timeline of the iPhone 5 News Blog’s reporting on the iPhone 4S. Take a look at the unlikely journey of the iPhone 4S from doubt to reality:

Monday Jan 17, 2011, “Predictions: iPhone 5 to Be a Simple Refresh,” by Sven Rafferty: Sven thought for sure the next iPhone would be released at the WWDC. He was wrong about that, but he was on to something early about the “refreshed” nature of the iPhone 4S: “I’ve already heard one new rumor saying goodbye to the home button and I could see that happening.  What I do not see coming to the half-decade mark from Cupertino’s finest is anything mind blowing. Nope, not this year.”

Friday Apr 29, 2011, “Insider Reports That The iPhone 5 Essentially A Tweaked iPhone 4,” by Charles Moore. Charles puts some polish onto Sven’s sense of a refreshed iPhone 4S in this article, citing a few analysts opinions: “Kuo also says he’s been told by his supply chain sources that the iPhone 5 will not be an all-new design but rather a refreshed and enhanced iPhone 4, incorporating only what Kuo calls “slight modifications” from the iPhone 4 specs, including the faster A5 processor, an 8 megapixel rear camera, a switch to a Qualcomm baseband for both GSM and CDMA variants, and an improved antenna design. Most alarming is that Kuo expects iOS 5 will be a “main selling point” of the iPhone 5, and will have already been released or at least announced before the fifth-generation phone itself.”

Saturday Jun 11, 2011, “Could The “S” in iPhone 4S Stand For Sprint?“ by Charles Moore. Charles begins to lay out the iPhone 4S framework here, along with injecting Sprint into the discussion: “Sprint is in advanced testing of an iPhone that would be called the iPhone 4S possibly for sale this fall, and suggesting that it would run at first on a CDMA-based 3G wireless network rather than on Sprint’s faster WiMax, another version supporting the latter to come later, although Hamblen thinks it more likely that Sprint would go with LTE wireless and an LTE-ready iPhone.”

Saturday Jul 16, 2011, “4S Rumors Won’t Die,” by Charles Moore. Charles tries to fight away the iPhone 4S rumor, which seemed completely debunked after the WWDC failed to produce it. But he has to admit: “he prospect of Apple releasing a range of the transition products, whether they’re a “simple refresh” of the iPhone 4 dubbed iPhone 5, or a straightforward iPhone 4 upgrade, is conceptually believable.”

 

Tuesday Aug 9, 2011, “Consumer Electronics Accessories Executive in Asia Reports Insider Rumor On Names, Features of Next iPhone, iPod Touch & iPad,” by Michael Nace. This is the first article where we reveal the information from our inside source about the next iPhone using the same form factor as the iPhone 4: “The source said in an e-mail to the Blog that he ‘Heard from one of distributors today, they are quite confirmed that Apple will announce iPhone 4Gs, iPod Touch white, and iPad Pro next month. Take it as a reference. I think they should be reliable.’” This early version of the information turned out to be wrong about the iPad and iPod, but was dead-on about the iPhone 4S.

 

Monday Aug 22, 2011, “Source Reaffirms iPhone 5 To Be An iPhone 4 Refresh,” by Michael Nace. Here, our source gains certainty that the next iPhone will keep the iPhone 4′s form factor. The first time he contacted us, his information came from a distributor of cases in China. But this doubling down of his information now included two very solid sources of his own: ‘Today, our source reaffirmed his prediction about the next iPhone, stating that he had heard that “the new iPhone will be a upgraded version of iPhone 4. Got this info from 2 different reliable sources.’”

Monday Sep 19, 2011, “Source Claims Case-Mate iPhone 5 Cases ‘A Hoax,’“ by Michael Nace. As you can imagine, the Case-Mate publicity stunt threw our source for a loop, since he runs an iPhone case company that competes with them. It didn’t take long for him to issue a strong claim against Case-Mate’s leaked iPhone 5 cases and their claim that the next iPhone would have a new form factor: “This morning, the iPhone 5 News Blog received an e-mail from its own source, a top executive in the consumer electronics accessories market, who has insisted for months that the next iPhone will not feature a brand-new design, but instead will re-use much of the iPhone 4′s form factor. His e-mail this morning reaffirms this belief, and has some harsh words for the Case-Mate story: “a couple of things, 1) we’ve gone very crazy about Case-Mate’s ‘iPhone5′ pics. Since they were also reported on newspaper, and factories in China believe them… 2) I insist it’s a hoax. My friend called up Hong Hai, they told him the new iPhone FITS the iPhone 4 apple bumper and insist 95% the same.’”

Oct 4, 2011 at 9:28 am, a comment from Michael Nace. The morning of the announcement, I posted this: “My source just said this in an e-mail to me: ‘iPhone will be announced tonight, and you will find out it’s only a 4S and the 5 is probably for next year. They are planning to sell 26m units of 4s in the 4th quarter so I assume they should be available right away or pretty soon.’”

What the iPhone 5 News Blog Got Wrong

For all of what we may have gotten right, we had our fair share of misses as well. Our call for the release date was during the “Back to School” period, which, in the U.S., is really the last two weeks of August and the first two weeks of September. We were about two weeks off, with the announcement for October 4th coming just last week.

I also claimed that there was a 50/50 chance that the iPhone 4S could be Apple’s first LTE phone. That didn’t prove to be the case. Hopefully in 2012!

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