Apple iPhone 5 Not Even Close: According to Component Suppliers

We know that many of our readers like to keep informed with all the latest about the Apple iPhone 5, even though at this stage most of it is speculation and rumor. Now we’ve heard that according to component suppliers in China, the iPhone 5 is not even close to production.

Recently we heard that it was unlikely that the iPhone 5 would be launched in June as previously expected, at WWDC 2011, and may not come instead until later this year or even next year. Then there were counter-rumors that it may be sooner. Regrettably the latest snippet of news suggests that the iPhone 5 may be much further away than hoped for. Yesterday we told how rumors of another iPad this year, the iPad 3, seem to have been dispelled by parts suppliers who say they have yet to receive any orders for iPad 3 components. Now it seems to be a very similar story for the iPhone 5.

Over on Computer World, Jonny Evans reports that not only does the iPhone 5 not look likely for this September, but that there’s a possibility it might not be out until 2012. A report in Chinese newspaper, Digitimes, states that according to touch panel makers for the iPhone, Apple has not even released a production roadmap for the iPhone 5. No new production lines for components for a new iPhone have yet been requested and there has been no slowing down of shipment volumes of the iPhone 4, in fact they have increased. The fact that touch panel orders remain steady is said to indicate, “Apple has no plans to stop current production of the current model of the device.”

However there’s an intriguing hint with the following statement in Digitimes, “it is not impossible for Apple to roll out an entry-level iPhone for the sake of grabbing market share,” which leads Computerworld to talk of the possibility of the existing model being reduced in price to stretch out sales, or even an iPhone nano that was rumored before.

Meanwhile Sam Oliver of Apple Insider also points out that as touch panel orders for the iPhone 4 remain steady this indicates the iPhone 5 will be released later than expected as typically suppliers would receive a timetable to slow down and then stop production in readiness for the next model. It seems that for now though, nobody really knows for sure and Apple Insider supply chain sources have two different opinions on what could happen. They predict either a very slightly modified iPhone 4 with a release in June or July or alternatively a “major overhaul” with the iPhone 5 coming much later. We recently told about some of the latest rumors for the iPhone 5, the inclusion of Thunderbolt technology, and then news that the new casings could be made out of carbon fiber, and even a gaming iPhone, so a later iPhone would increase the possibility of any of these happening.

What are your thoughts on this? Would you prefer to wait for a vastly revamped iPhone 5, or would you rather settle for a slightly modified iPhone 4 released in the summer? We’d be interested to hear from you so please send in your comments.