Phones Review

Transitioning to iPhone 5 as component orders drop

Under: Apple iPhone, Mobile Phones
By:Debbie Turner | May 5th, 2012

Talk about the Apple iPhone 5 continues to ramp up and we’ve been passing on all the latest developments and giving you insights into iPhone news. One of the most hotly debated questions though is when the new iPhone will be released and it seems that iPhone 4S component orders falling could be a sign that a transition to the iPhone 5 is underway.

First of all we’ll fill you in on the two main areas of focus for a possible iPhone 5 release date. Although nobody outside of Apple really knows when this will be, opinions of industry insiders and tech journalists seem to fall pretty much equally between two time frames. One camp feels that a summer release date, soon after Apple’s WWDC in June is most likely. This would mean a return to the traditional release time of the iPhones that was bucked last year when the iPhone 4S came out in October.

However at Phones Review we’ve mainly been of the persuasion that a release is still more likely in the fall, roughly a year after the iPhone 4S arrival. It would seem more plausible that Apple would leave at least a year between iPhone iterations and recently we told how Apple doesn’t need to be in any hurry to launch the next iPhone as the iPhone 4S is still achieving huge sales.

Also although the majority of consumers seem to be hoping for a reveal of the iPhone 5 at WWDC (Apple’s developers conference) Apple has made it clear that the focus of the event will be software-related such as the next iOS or Mac OS X operating systems. Indeed the consensus of most industry experts seems to be that Apple may well show of the next iOS, iOS 6, even if the iPhone 5 doesn’t show itself just yet.

However news from industry sources might suggest an iPhone 5 release is coming sooner than we expected. Apple Insider informs us of a report from Taiwanese paper DigiTimes, which often brings insider news about Apple products (mixed reliability). It seems that two companies that produce touch panels for the iPhone 4S, TPK Holdings and Wintek, anticipate that their component shipments will fall by up to 20% during the second quarter, with DigiTimes asserting that the iPhone 4S is “moving into the final stage of its product life cycle.”

This seems to reinforce rumors last month that Apple could be adopting in-cell touch panels for the next iPhone and if so then further touch panels from TPK and Wintek would not be needed. Industry insiders also say that second half 2012 shipments of touch panels from the two companies are expected to be only a third of those shipped during the first six months of the year. Cnet also discusses the DigiTimes report and how it suggests an iPhone 5 is looming and it seems that many people are now becoming increasingly hopeful that this means a summer launch.

We could look at this two ways though. Apple may simply be expecting fewer sales now of the iPhone 4S, with many customers holding off purchasing a new iPhone as hype builds for its successor. Whether the release is in the summer or not until the fall though, we still feel that people will already start to hold back and so reducing shipments of touch panels for the iPhone 4S would just seem to be sense. On its own, to us at least, this isn’t enough to indicate a release in summer rather than later in the year.

The other thing to consider is the production time frame. If touch panel shipments are falling this quarter in time for the iPhone 5, is this enough to indicate a June release rather than fall? Again, it’s difficult to tell. If this was the case and the iPhone 5 was only little over a month away, we would have imagined that the touch panel shipments for the iPhone 4S would have fallen by even more and sooner too. If the iPhone 5 is set for the fall though, then those component shipments could gradually fall again during the third quarter, just in time for the launch of the next iPhone.

It’s certainly thought provoking and of course the reduction of touch panel shipments does suggest an incoming iPhone. However to us it’s still difficult to surmise that this means a summer release any more than a fall release and we’d be really interested to hear your thoughts on this.

If you’re hoping for a summer iPhone 5 are you still prepared to wait if it doesn’t appear until the fall? We’d imagine most iPhone customers would wait but could your head be turned by a new Android smartphone such as the just-announced Galaxy S3? Maybe you want the iPhone 5 but have always imagined it wouldn’t be here until a year after its predecessor? Let us know by sending your comments.

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  • Gav19

    Well i have been waiting since June of last year, so it better be out June of this year! last year was bad enough listening to a hardware manufacturer bring nothing more than a software update and an extra 3 mega pixels from a years work! so this iphone 5 better be good or Samsung will have a new customer

    • Joe1984

      Gettin fed up waiting on the iPhone 5, like gav19 wanted it last ye but all we got was a stupid iOS update if its not out this summer I no where I’ll be spending my money an it won’t be with apple

    • Cshcrzd

      I agree with gav19 and joe1984. I’ve Been waiting since last June for a redesign and nothing. I’ve told my self that if apple can’t produce something by June this year, then this long time iPhone fanboy is jumping ship. Sony Xperia S, is what I’m going to.

  • Anonymous

    When you compare a Galaxy S3 to any iPhone, the choice is obvious –> Galaxy S3 or S2.

    Who really wants such a tiny display?  With crippled multitasking?

    • apple lovr

       apple s apple no competitions wd dt. galaxy s using out apple resourses dt dsnt mk galaxy to a apple

  • Omelette

    I like the thought of the iPhone 5, but, I’m a little apprehensive about Apple making the screen taller & the home button smaller; I think the home button is just right as it is, & would rather they made the case itself slightly taller & wider, whilst keeping the same style & good looks as it’s predecessor (Like a tall, slim, thin block of shiny black glass, with a metal band (antenna) all around the edge – don’t ever change that look, it defines the phone), but please improve the signal reception & the battery performance?!

  • Omelette

    I also have a Samsung Galaxy Nexus Prime, with the latest Android is 4.x (Ice Cream Sandwich); I still prefer my iPhone 4 running iOS 5.1 :0))

  • Trejo495

    I’m not an iphone fan, however, what caught my attention was the 4 inch screen. If this is true, apple
    Has a new customer. I think that 4inch screen is the perfect screen for a phone. Of course, it has to
    Have 4G LTE (Thunderbolt) and i’m hoping the battery last a whole day. At least 8 megapixel camera.

  • Lhill8181

    Traded my iPhone 4s for the epic 4g touch which is sprints version of the galaxy s2 but it had a 4.6 inch screen . I tell you what , what a difference I am not a fanboy of any type just want the best product for me . The s2 is the best phone ever used , between my wife and our friends we have used them all. I would say apple really has its hands full with the s3 launching. I would say to anyone buying a smartphone apple is a great company they really helped technology along in the phone market but don’t buy a iPhone just cause its apple product. Check them all out in the store most carriers have demo phones going. Check android out right now Samsung is making the best smart phones with HTC behind them and then apple. Please apple for me to ever even think of another iPhone get a screen I can see and enjoy watching HD content on.

  • Steve

    I have long awaited an iPhone with 4G (from AT&T as
    they are the best for simultaneous talk and data service) But I am starting to
    think that the Android smartphone may be the way to go as I am nearing my tired
    of the waiting game.  4G has been out
    well over a year!  Whats Apple waiting
    for?

  • iDude

    I have had an iPhone since August 2008 when the 3G first came out. I got the iPhone4 in July 2010 and am waiting for the iPhone5 later this year. I have always kept an eye on the Android phones but right now I am getting really tempted, because the Android phones are starting to look very nice indeed. I really love the iPhone but Apple must understand that iPhone5 needs to be scorching hot. Screen size should have been upgraded to 4 inches for the iPhone4 not the 5.  4 inches in 2012 may not be big enough to satisfy. I fear Apple will lose ground and I will need to switch away for the best product from 2013. Wake up Apple and make the screen bigger to 4.5 inches or thereabouts. Grass roots Apple customers are savvy and informed and we want the best product.

  • apple lovr

    dsnt mk ny dfrnce wn iphone 5 wl launch dt gona boom d mrkt n ppl knw sht abt apple. dy r jst fckn around wd blutooth. lk n galaxy…………………………………………… fck samsung
    apple gona alwz b n top
    baap baap hota hai beta beta hi hota hai
    lov u apple

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