Apple Sets Sept 12 (iPhone 5?) Launch Event Date
Finally, Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) threw the starving iPhone 5 masses a bone. The company today sent out invitations to news organizations for a September 12 event widely believed to mark the debut of its long-awaited iPhone 5, as confirmed in a number of reports. Here are the details:
The email invitation read “It’s almost here” with the number 12 casting a shadow of the number five, referring, of course, to the iPhone 4’s successor, in all probability called the iPhone 5. The event will be held at the Yerba Buena Center in San Francisco on September 12 starting at 10 a.m.
Reports began surfacing in July suggesting the September 12 iPhone 5 date and a September 21 release date for the device. Speculation that Apple also planned to unwrap an iPad Mini at the same time largely has been dispelled by a number of outlets. As mentioned by The VAR Guy, the iPhone 5 will feature a smaller charging dock, 4G LTE connectivity, a taller (at least 4-inches) screen, longer battery life and include Near Field Communication (NFC) or so-called touch-less connectivity.
No matter how you slice it, from the last week in August through mid-September could be the biggest launch period in smartphone history. Sony and Samsung both announced new entries at IFA in Berlin last week, Nokia is slated to roll out two new Lumia models on September 5, and, don’t forget Microsoft’s rumored October 29 date for the Windows Phone 8 roll out.
Expectations for iPhone 5 sales are through the roof, especially considering many buyers have held off purchasing smartphones waiting for the device to arrive. According to this report, Gene Munster, a Piper Jaffray analyst, suggested that with a mid-September launch, Apple could have clear sailing to hit 10 million in iPhone 5 unit sales for the month and 28 million units for iPhones overall for the quarter.
It will be interesting to see if Apple betters the high water mark of 4 million sold set by the iPhone 4S in its first three days on the market. For certain, the vendor will need record iPhone 5 sales to close the huge lead Samsung now enjoys in worldwide smartphone unit sales, driven largely by mountainous sales of its flagship Galaxy S III device. In Q2 2012, Samsung doubled Apple’s smartphone sales, driven largely by 10 million shipments in June alone of the Galaxy S III, all done while the iPhone 5 lay in waiting.
Now, with the iPhone 5 apparently ready to go, along with Apple’s legal challenge to remove the Galaxy S III from the U.S. market, the smartphone landscape could radically change in the next few months.