iPhone 5 release date, specs, rumors 30 Jan – 2 Feb: May and June launch, NFC integration and others

iPhone 5 could be released in May

According to a member of staff at Chinese producer Foxconn, the iPhone 5 is being readied for production ahead of a May launch.

The insider claims that several special models and designs are ready at the place and the Cupertino company is believed to be pondering over which should be the final version.

The rumors also say that the device will sport a 4-inch display that will be prepared by LG.

Online petition calls for “ethical” iPhone

Consumer watchdog group SumOfUs is asking Apple to “make the iPhone 5 ethically” and “overhaul the way its suppliers treat their workers” before the iPhone 5 is released.

More than 35,000 people signed the petition in the first 24 hours it was available, according to SumOfUs.

The petition reads: “Can Apple do this? Absolutely. According to an anonymous Apple executive quoted in The New York Times, all Apple has to do is demand it, and it’ll happen.”

Last week, The New York Times reported about the extreme working conditions from Apple’s overseas manufacturers, triggering questions on whether the Cupertino giant is looking solely for profit.

Foxconn hiring sparks iPhone production rumors

Foxconn, Apple’s major product Chinese manufacturer, is hiring tons of Chinese workers amid rumors that iPhone 5 production is starting.

According to M.I.C Gadget, thousands of people lined up on Monday outside a labor agency in Zhengzhou, China, in the hope of getting hired by Foxconn.

Foxconn plans to expand its workforce with another 100,000 workers. The company is expected to be readying for production of the iPhone 5, rumored to be released this year.

Recently, the Apple manufacturer has been the subject of controversy because of the harsh worker conditions inside its factories.

MasterCard hints at NFC for iPhone 5

Apple is reportedly working on the integration of near field communication technology in its next smartphone.

The NFC is used in payment terminals and is precisely designed for use on mobile phones. The iPhone 5 could mark Apple’s entry in this specific segment.

Interviewed by Fast Company, Ed McLaughlin, MasterCard’s head of emerging payments, said Apple was very interested in the integration of NFC technology in its next smartphone models, an allusion concerning especially the iPhone 5, which is entering production phase these days.

In addition, tech site 9to5Mac discussed this issue with a “well-connected developer” currently working on designing an app compatible with NFC.

The developer, whose identity was not revealed, is cited as saying that Apple software engineers are “heavy into NFC.”

iPhone 5 and iPad3 to arrive in March and June 2012?

According to Daiwa Securities, as quoted by the Commercial Times, the keynote presentation of the iPhone 5 could take place at the Worldwide Developer’s Conference (WWDC) to be held this year in June.

Apple is expected to go back to basics and use the Moscone Center to present its new iPhone at this conference.

The site also provides a screenshot of the leaked calendar from San Francisco’s Moscone Center, hinting that the event could take place between June 10 and June 15.

In addition, the blog MacOtakara announces that the iPad 3 will be unveiled in March during a presentation organized by Apple.