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iPhone 5 rumor rollup for the week ending Aug. 24

John Cox | Aug. 27, 2012
As summer wanes, the iOSphere this week unhesitatingly dredged up the most tenuous and implausible allusions, inferences, hints, and of course teases for iPhone 5. All in good fun.

"When asked, a SmartPhone Medic spokesman said 'the parts in the video are from a very reliable source that we have worked with for years. They have been very accurate when releasing early parts to us in the past, but obviously we cannot say 100 percent that they are indeed the parts for the new iPhone. Apple is very good at protecting [their] parts/devices until their launch, despite what people may think. It is very difficult to acquire them.'"

According to the unnamed spokesman, "The quality, build and markings suggest that they [the parts shown in the video] are accurate."

iPhone 5 supplies will be limited

Short supplies of key iPhone 5 components -- especially a new display based on "in-cell" technology -- mean lower-than-expected shipments of the new handset, and fewer of new phones will be available when they go on sale, according to a brief post by DigiTimes.

As it usually does, DigiTimes based its post on anonymous "sources in the supply chain."

But what's confusing is the prediction that "new iPhone" shipments in Q3 will be fall to 15 million from a previous forecast of 20 million because of alleged shortages of new in-cell displays and of a redesigned, smaller dock connector: We're already in the third calendar quarter. And assuming the iPhone 5 is announced Sept. 12, and is available a week or so later, then its sales will be counted as part of calendar Q4.

Apparently, by "new iPhone" DigiTimes means current Q3 shipments of new-to-the-buyer iPhone 4S and other models: Investors and Apple itself have noted that sales for current iPhone models slow as consumers decide to wait for the next iPhone. But this current quarter drop-off therefore can't have anything to do with the purported low yield rates for components.

In-cell touch panels are a new technology for touch screens, which lets the manufacturer eliminate several of the layers in conventional displays. The result is a thinner device. Rumors have circulated for months that Apple will introduce the technology in the iPhone 5. DigiTimes also claims that the "recently redesigned" dock connector is also not being produced in enough quantities either. Rollup is not persuaded that Apple decided on a major redesign for a key iPhone 5 component only "recently."

But it's all pretty convincing to Eric Brown, at International Business Times, who seems fully prepared to accept that "rumors now are suggesting that production problems could limit Apple's supply of the new phone."

"[I]t certainly is possible that the [next] phone will be a little harder to find than normal," he intones, sounding less like a reporter or even a blogger and more like a palm reader. ("Yessss ... I see millions of iPhones in your future. But be warned! They may be a little harder to find than normal!")


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