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Expect IPhone 5 intro on June 6, says analyst

None | Feb. 25, 2011

It's even possible that Apple will use the opportunity to merge the lines into one device, creating a dual-function iPhone that supports both network technologies.

"Clearly, Apple would like to get back to one SKU," said Gottheil, using the acronym for "stock-keeping unit," the code used by sellers to identify products.

The possibility that Apple will revamp the Verizon iPhone so soon after its launch has prompted some experts, including Consumer Reports, to recommend that the carrier's customers delay their purchase.

In a blog post last month, the magazine warned readers that the Verizon iPhone "may be quickly replaced by a newer, cooler version more quickly than is customary even for the die-young life expectancy of most smart phones."

The AppleBitch blog also noted two other "Corporate Meeting" events in the Moscone Center's schedule -- the first for May 10-11, the second for June 22-23 -- and speculated that those dates could also be used by Apple for the iPhone 5 or even iPad 2 launches.

The May 10-11 dates, however, correspond to Google's (GOOG) I/O Developers Conference , which the maker of Android today said had sold out in under an hour.

In the past, Apple has officially announced the dates for WWDC in March or April, but has declined to talk about a new iPhone .

With CEO Steve Jobs absent on an indefinite medical leave , Gottheil expects that several Apple executives will take the stage to introduce the iPhone 5 this June. In 2009, when Jobs was last on leave, Philip Schiller, the company's head of marketing, did the honors.

"It may be [Tim] Cook," said Gottheil, talking about Apple's chief operating officer, who is running the firm while Jobs is away, "or Schiller or [Jonathan] Ive," the vice president of industrial design. "Apple will want to show that they are a strong, multiple-leader company" in Jobs' absence.

 

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