Rumors pointing to a September 21 launch have been rife this week.
According to sources within Pegatron, the iPhone 5 has already entered production in one of the company’s Shanghai factories.
Apple’s next flagship device has also been rumored to be released on September 21.
According to French website App4phone.fr, Apple has offered Chinese accessory makers details about a September launch date.
A few days later, PhoneArena reiterated the rumor, citing a source who works in the retail industry in the United States.
However, Apple might have to delay the launch because of a shortage of 28nm chips at Qualcomm.
Qi Fei, a spokesman for Qualcomm China, has announced that the company will be able to provide enough supply of 28nm chips only by the end of this year, which could postpone the launch of the iPhone 5 until next year.
Reports also stated that Qualcomm has entered partnerships with South Korea’s Samsung and Taiwan’s United Microelectronics in order to handle the undersupply issue.
Adding to the speculation on the future iPhone was Apple’s CEO Tim Cook who mentioned the possibility of a “future product” in a recent interview, however, without explicitly mentioning the iPhone 5.
Also rumored for a September launch was the iPad mini.
KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes that Apple will release the iPhone 5 in September and use the same timeframe for the launch of the mini version of the iPad.
The analyst also estimated that the new iPad will get an internal redesign to address thermal issues and reduce costs.
But Kuo was not the only one to speculate on Apple’s possible release schedule.
KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo expects the new iPhone and iPod touch to be presented in late September as the two devices haven’t received any major upgrades since last year.
Kuo believes the iPod nano will adopt a rectangle design, along with a larger touch screen and a Home button at the bottom of the device, similar to the iPhone.
As for the new iPod nano, the analyst estimates that it will score better sales than the iPod touch because supplies of the new iPod touch will be constrained due to the move to the new in-cell technology.
In anticipation of the launch of Apple’s next smartphone, sales of the iPhone 4S have recorded a decline.
Market watchers believe that this is explained by the fact that customers are getting ready to upgrade to the new iPhone 5, rumored to be release this fall.
A recent survey made by ChangeWave has shown that the iPhone 5 is more popular than the previous model.
Compared to last year’s results, when the iPhone 4S was launched, the iPhone 5 is more popular.
Also numerous this week were rumors on the new 19-pin connector that Apple plans to use for its future smartphone instead of the current 30-pin model.
Citing sources, Reuters wrote that the change will be made “to make room for the earphone moving to the bottom,” which would make the new dock connector almost 40% smaller than the current one.
The publication also claimed that Apple reduced the size of that port connector to implement the earphone at the bottom of the iPhone.
However, according to CNET’s Wayne Cunningham, because of this new change, automakers may be forced to find new ways to integrate this connection into their cars.
Kia, Hyundai, Audi, and Volkswagen cars use an iPhone cable that is specific to the car, which means that users will be have to buy an adapter cable with the 19-pin connector in order to use the iPhone with their car.
Cunningham believes that Bluetooth audio streaming may be the solution until the moment Apple switches to a smaller dock.
Following the Reuters article, iMore reported that Apple will offer an adapter that will work with accessories designed for the old 30-pin dock connector.
Of course, leaked photos of what is apparently Apple’s next flagship device were also resent this week.
The images, leaked by cell phone case vendor Cool Zone PDA, were provided by a case manufacturer who works at the Foxconn factory where the devices are being made.
The pictures present a device which features one 19-pin dock connector and a headphone jack at the bottom of the device, as well as a longer 4-inch screen, in accordance to the latest speculation.
Pictures of early prototypes of Apple’s old iPhone and iPad prototypes surfaced online.
The images are part of court documents from the Apple vs. Samsung trial case filings and they present multiple versions of the iPhone and the iPad.
Comparing the images, MacRumors noted that there is a similarity between one of these prototypes, featuring a central aluminum backing and a two-tone design, and the rumored iPhone 5.
Finally, Apple has reportedly bought AuthenTec Inc., a maker of fingerprint sensors and security solutions, for $356 million, a move that could be motivated by the company’s desire to improve security for mobile payment systems that are likely to be integrated in the future iPhones or iPads, market watchers believe.
AuthenTec is known for designing fingerprint sensors and other security products for mobile devices and could help make the iPhone and iPad more secure.