April 13, 2011
Apple Rumors: Streaming Video Service, Carbon Fiber iPods and iPhone 5 Coming in Q3 (Rumors About iPhone 5 Delay are Wrong)
In past few days Apple rumors related to online services, iPhone 5 and iPod have started to gain momentum. Many analysts and blogs are reporting that Apple is working on online services that will bring music and video streaming to Apple devices, as well as new MobileMe features. According to Jefferies analyst Peter Misek “Apple is about to launch a new video-focused cloud based service.” That will be more than just online locker for purchased music and will bring a new device, which will take advantage of the video streaming service.
Most of these rumors are based on assumption that Apple’s new data center in North Carolina will go live soon and Apple will use this data center to bring the above-mentioned online services. There are also rumors that Apple has placed large order for storage systems (128 million GB), which indicates that Apple is planning to storage more than just songs online. As this kind of storage is needed only for large volumes of HD videos.
On the iPod side, Cult of Mac reported that Apple is planning to bring wireless syncing to next generation iPod lineup. However, there have been lots of issues with reliability, signal strength, case design and battery life. A carbon fiber case solves many of the problems, but the design is still not ideal or to the engineer’s satisfaction. Apple has been working on carbon fiber design prototypes for iPod classic and nano and are making lot of headway with the design.
When we asked our sources about this carbon fiber iPod rumor, they said that they are not very sure if we will ever see one. The main reason being cost of carbon fiber, which can be four times as much as aluminum and bringing carbon fiber to a device priced less than $200 can have a large effect on profit margin.
Finally iPhone 5, even though our sources still maintain that we will see an iPhone 5 this summer, many blogs are reporting that iPhone 5 won’t come to the market before Q4 2011. John Paczkowski of All Things Digital believes that Apple will announce iPhone 5 at its Fall Music Event and will ship it in Q4 of this year. Adding more fuel to the fire, Digitimes is reporting that Apple has yet not released production roadmap for iPhone 5 indicating delay in launch. Digitimes also adds that because suppliers have not received a timetable to stop current iPhone 4 production in preparation for the next generation of iPhone. The launch of iPhone 5 might be delayed until September, or even 2012.
However, our sources say that Apple has never stops production of older generation of iPhone even after launch of new iPhone. For example, Apple is still producing and shipping iPhone 3GS, 10 months after iPhone 4 launch. In case of iPhone 4, Apple started a completely new production line at Foxconn for the new handset. Our sources further add that because iPhone 5 will see some major design tweaks like bigger screen and new chipset. Apple will have to definitely start a new production line, which they normally do about 1-2 months before shipping the new product.
Most of these iPhone 5 rumors are based on guesstimations because analysts are not getting any information from Apple’s tight-lipped supply chain. Many analysts were releasing similar reports about delay in production of both iPhone 4 last year and recently released iPad 2, before Apple actually announced and shipped the new products on time. So we should take all these iPhone 5 delay rumors with a big grain of salt.