Apple iPhone 5 rumored for fall 2012
Any official announcement is likely to come close to the actual launch date.
Although Apple's (AAPL) iPhone 4S was released less than three months ago, rumors are already circulating surrounding the next iteration of the device. Apple is going to release a redesigned next generation iPhone next year, according to a report from BGR.
Unlike the iPhone 4S, which was launched earlier this quarter without any major body changes, the next iPhone is said to boast a completely redesigned exterior. From the outset, it should be noted that it's too early to give too much credence to any report about Apple's iDevice, as they are generally shrouded in secrecy until they are unveiled.
The report says that the next iPhone will have an iPad-esque aluminum back joined to the glass iPhone face by a rubber or plastic bezel surrounding the front edge of the phone. Apple will look to maintain its usual one-year gap between device launches and not delay it, as it could otherwise risk losing some customers to a fleet of Google's (GOOG) Android smartphones released on time in the highly competitive market.
Apple's 2012 product cycle hasn't even started, and after the iPhone 4S' big debut, the rumor mill will likely be busy until an official announcement is made. We don't see any official announcement being made before the summer (or fall) of next year, close to the actual launch date.
While we take Apple-related rumors such as this with a grain of salt, this one is interesting due to its description of the supposed new device. We believe that the iPhone is due for a major redesign, as it will have been two years since the last redesign with the iPhone 4. Apple has been rolling out major body changes every two years since the iPhone 3G, and we expect that trend to continue with the next-generation device having a new external design, whatever that may be.
What makes the redesign necessary is that the when the iPhone 4S was announced without any body changes, initial reviews were somewhat ordinary, with the exception of the device's voice-controlled assistant Siri. That the 4S still sold by the truckload is a testament to Apple's brand value and popularity. However, going forward, Apple cannot just rely on customer loyalty.
As competitors such as Samsung and HTC come up with new smartphones at regular intervals to keep the novelty factor going and give customers a broader range of options, Apple will have to offer something new and different. (See Samsung Overtakes Apple, Can iPhone 4S Reverse This Trend?)
A redesigned iPhone, launched without delay, would likely have a hugely positive impact on Apple's smartphone market share. Our $503 price estimate for Apple's stock is nearly 25% ahead of the current market price.
" Apple has been rolling out major body changes every two years since the iPhone 3G, and we expect that trend to continue with the next-generation device having a new external design,"
Um that has been the one and only time there was a major body change..the iPhone 4. It would need to happen again before you could say "expect that trend to continue".
Once is not a trend.
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