Was the iPhone 5 Release Date Supposed To Be in 2011?

An inside source is now claiming that Steve Jobs and Apple engineers had planned on the iPhone 5 being released in 2011, but shelved it at the last minute for the iPhone 4S.

As the iPhone 5 rumor mill begins to heat up again around what will be the iPhone 5 release date in 2012, new claims are coming to the surface that put the iPhone 5′s delay into better focus. An intriguing (and albeit unconfirmed) report from Business Insider claims that Apple was pro-actively moving forward with an iPhone 5 prototype, but abruptly halted its production about three months before the release of the iPhone 4S. According to the story: “Our source said that Apple engineers he knows thought until about three months before the iPhone 4S was released, that a new fully re-designed iPhone was going to be Apple’s next big announcement. This source said that he spent about two weeks with one prototype version of this phone.”

The iPhone 5 News Blog has reported on several stories and rumors in the past that would seem to corroborate this new claim.

On August 9th, we reported that, according to our own inside source, the 2011 iPhone was not going to be the iPhone 5, but rather the “iPhone 4GS.” The name was off, but our source was told by his own deep sources that the next iPhone would be a refresh of the iPhone 4. He followed that claim up on August 22nd by stating definitively, “the new iPhone will be a upgraded version of iPhone 4. Got this info from 2 different reliable sources.”

Our source’s timeline fits in with the timeline that Business Insider suggests: that our source was made privy to the decision to go with the iPhone 4S just about a month after Apple engineers and Steve Jobs had made the decision.

Another thing to consider is that Cupertino may have been already divided on whether to move forward with the iPhone 5 as early as the WWDC. At the time, Samsung was threatening Apple’s patents with aggressive new lawsuits that some believed could compel Apple to further delay the release of the iPhone 5.

More recent news that the full-fledged iPhone 5 never materialized in 2011 due to a faulty key component also suggests that this story may connect with what Business Insider is reporting today, and that the failure to get the A6 processor into successful pre-production may have been the cataylist for shelving the iPhone 5 in 2011. We reported about TSMC beginning work on the A6 on August 14th, which again is within the timeframe of this new story.

The Good NEws About the iPhone 5 Release Date Failure

As more and more of these reports about the failure to release the iPhone 5 in 2011 emerge, it makes the iPhone 4S seem more and more like a stand-in for what Apple had originally intended. And while that sentiment may not sit well with new iPhone 4S users, it does help to reignite excitement over the eventual 2012 iPhone 5 release — and when the iPhone 5 release date may in fact be.

I personally believe that, since the iPhone 5 prototype may already be finished and that the delay was caused by issues with one key component, like the processor, that Apple will not wait another 12+ months to release it. This, along with the fact that our own exclusive inside source is telling us that the iPhone 5 will be released in June of 2012, makes me believe that we are closer to a release than we think.

While iPhone 5 production may have been an epic fail in 2011, the fact that Cupertino was so close to releasing it at least gives us hope that little is left to do in order to make it a reality in 2012.

The iPhone 5: So close, and yet so far.



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