Apple are either being very clever or very silly.
Investors following Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) know that the company follows what has been widely referred to as a “tick-tock” development model for its iPhone. In one year, the company releases a new industrial design, and in the other, it uses the same basic industrial design as in the prior year, but with upgraded internals.
Last year, Apple rolled out the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, which were fundamental redesigns of the consumer electronics giant’s popular handsets. This year, however, Apple is expected to focus principally on internal improvements while retaining the same basic iPhone 6/6 Plus designs.
Just 48 hours after the iPhone 5s and 5c are announced and new images of the alleged iPad 5 and iPad mini 2 have been pictured together for the first time, showing an extreme similarity in design.
Apple announced a deluge of products at its Cupertino campus this evening. The iPhone- and iOS-centric event naturally focused on the company’s smartphone lineup, from its new flagship iPhone 5S to the mid-range iPhone 5C to the forthcoming iOS 7. But it’s no Apple event without a few other product refreshes and surprises tossed in, including free iWork apps and the end of the iPhone 5.
Here’s what went down at the Apple headquarters and what company executives had to say about it.
Mr. Shakey Cam has been busy again. Alleged photos of the iPhone 5S box were recently posted on a Chinese site. Notably, the Home Button no longer appears to have the rounded square icon — a previously rumoured change. Instead, there’s a gray ring around the Home Button, which has also been rumoured.
CNET summarises a report [Google translation] from prominent Japanese business newspaper Nikkei claiming that both the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C will launch in Japan on Friday, September 20, ten days after the devices are expected to be unveiled at an Apple media event.
An image posted on Chinese site WeiPhone appears to show plastic retail packaging marked with the name “iPhone 5C”. If the packaging is genuine, and it has not yet been confirmed to be, it could be for Apple’s long-rumoured plastic iPhone. The image was first noticed by French site Nowhereelse.fr.
Korean site ETNews.com has reported that Apple will be discontinuing production of the iPhone 5 in the Autumn – instead putting all of its efforts towards the iPhone 5S and the rumoured entry-level plastic iPhone.
Apple has been presumed to be discontinuing the iPhone 4 and 4S in order to make way for an all-Lightning iPhone lineup, allowing Apple to standardise around its latest connection standard and phase out the older 30-pin connector standard with the possible exception of the iPod classic – which has not been updated in a number of years. The fate of the current iPhone 5 has, however, not been the subject of much discussion as it has remained unclear whether the new lineup of iPhone 5S and plastic iPhone would leave room for Apple to continue offering an iPhone 5 model.
Today’s report claims that the in-cell technology used on the iPhone 5’s touchscreen is “not suitable for low-volume production”, contributing to Apple’s decision to stop production on the phone and focus all of its efforts toward producing parts for newer products. The iPhone 5 and 5S are, however, expected to share nearly identical display technology although leaked photos have a shown a change to the orientation of the flex cable connectors on the display assemblies.
The iPhone 5S is reportedly scheduled to begin production later this month, with both that device and the lower cost iPhone rumoured for launch in the September-October timeframe.
Over the past several weeks, a number of leaks about Apple’s rumored lower-cost plastic iPhone have surfaced, including design drawings from a case maker and photos of alleged rear shells in a number of bright colors. Based on these leaks, earlier this week we released our own high-resolution renderings showing what the device might look like in its entirety.
Techdy now reports that it has gotten its hands on what it believes to be legitimate front and rear parts for this lower-cost plastic iPhone, offering the first good look at how the device will appear fully assembled.
Apple is looking to trademark “iWatch” in Japan, according to Bloomberg. The company filed for the trademark with the Japan Patent Office on June 3. A prior report noted Apple filed for “iWatch” in Russia, though that report could not be independently confirmed. The name of Apple’s rumored smart watch is still unknown, but “iWatch” is certainly a distinct possibility based on these reported filings.