And you thought your iPhone 5 would keep you on the bleeding edge of technology. A new report out of Asia this morning claims that Apple plans to begin trial production of a next iPhone, the iPhone 5S, in December. The reason for such a hasty production schedule? Low yields that continue to affect availability of the current iPhone 5.
In order to avoid similar problems with the next iPhone, the story goes, Apple wants to start trial production of the iPhone 5S as early as possible so the company could work out any kinks ahead of volume production, which is apparently slated to begin in the first quarter of 2013…
Asian trade publication DigiTimes relays a report by Chinese-language newspaper Commercial Times which has it that initial production volumes are likely to top 50,000-100,000 units.
Facing low yield rates in the production of iPhone 5, Apple has accelerated the certification processes for related parts and components for the iPhone 5S, the paper revealed.
Volume production is expected in the first quarter of 2013. The following quarter, Apple is also thought to release a new version of iPad.
The reason for this, the story goes, is because Apple is aware that the display resolution of the iPad mini “has come out lower than expected”.
While both publications have less-then-stellar track record when it comes to accurate Apple reporting, I think they’re onto something.
Apple this year under Tim Cook’s leadership has made a number of changes to its business. Most notably, the company released a re-tooled version of the iPad 3 just six months following its March introduction.
Apple is also facing strong competition from Android makers who are not married to annual refresh cycles like Apple is and churn out handsets with latest technology on a weekly and monthly basis. Realizing this, Apple could be moving to a biannual schedule for iOS devices.
Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities wrote in a note to clients last month (via AppleInsider) that “though the iPad mini is expected to be successful, we think launching the lighter, thinner 9.7″ iPad as quickly as possible matters more for Apple strategically”.
The theory has legs. Instead of waiting two years for major device upgrades, we could see, for example, the iPhone 6/6S released in the same year.
The former would bring major updates to the form factor augmented with the a major new iOS version and the latter would serve as an incremental upgrade bringing the device’s internals up to date in terms of processor, screen, cellular, wireless and other technologies.