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What happened to the iPhone 5?


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#1 Chris230291

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 04:12 PM

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Since CNET posted the iPhone 5 story this weekend…

…the iPhone 5 is a “complete redesign. This is a very large project that Steve dedicated all of his time to. He was not that involved in the 4S because his time was limited.”

…we thought it would be good time to tell you what our sources think happened to the iPhone 5 that some were expecting. We’ve heard from Foxconn managers as well as Apple employees and carrier partners on this and have tried to put together the full story.
The iPhone 4S as you see it was originally planned to be released at WWDC with iOS 5, like every iPhone before it.

But something happened around February of this year that threw everything off. Apple was still integrating the Siri team and code into iOS and it was going much slower than planned. In February, Apple knew they weren’t going to be able to get an iOS 5 Beta to developers in April and they sure weren’t going to have a stable version by WWDC. They would be lucky to get a final version of Siri into customers’ hands by the holiday shopping season (Siri is currently in Beta in three languages).

At the same time, Apple’s iPhone 5 (teardrop) plans were moving along on or ahead of schedule and the first prototypes were testing well. CNet says that Steve Jobs was overseeing this project which sounds about right.

With mid-October being the earliest possible date of a Siri-fied iOS being ready – with “Apple-levels” of polish –Apple had to look at its options. Would they release the iPhone 4S at WWDC with a modified version of iOS 4? Without Siri and the other iOS5 improvements, the update might have seemed a little bland to the average customer.
Instead Apple chose a different route.

A decision was made to attempt to speed up iPhone 5 hardware development and try to get it built by the Holidays when iOS 5 would be launched. At the same time, the iPhone 4S was to be developed as either the flagship phone for 2011 or, if Apple could pull off the iPhone 5, the low cost alternative.

Along the way, there was pushback from Apple’s partners at Foxconn. In June, Foxconn founderTerry Gou was quoted by the WSJ as saying:

…the yield rate of Apple’s touch-screen devices hasn’t been satisfactory and has hurt its profitability.
“The touch-screen devices are so thin. It’s really difficult to install so many components into the iPhones …

Does that sound like he’s talking about building an iPhone 4S which is mostly identical to the iPhone 4 save for an updated camera and Apple’s A5 chip? Foxconn had been producing the iPhone 4 for over a year at that point.
No. He’s talking about trying to build the iPhone 5.

The iPhone 4S is neither thinner nor lighter than the iPhone 4 which the WSJ’s usually reliable Yukari Kane had sourced the “people with knowledge of the matter” in the same article as saying:

The new iPhone is expected to be similar to the current iPhone 4, but thinner and lighter with an improved eight-megapixel camera.[/indent]
Foxconn obviously did have prototypes of the iPhone 5 (which eventually landed in the hands of the iPhone case designers and spawned the whole iPhone 5 case fiasco). But it turns out that building the iPhone 5 in necessary yield rates couldn’t be done in time for a holiday 2011 release.

Just like the third generation iPod with camera prototypes (below) were floating around China and wound up in the hands of case manufacturers, so did the iPhone 5. Apple never made that device, instead releasing an third generation iPod touch without a camera and eventually releasing a retina fourth generation iPod touch with not one but two cameras.

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By early September, it started to become clear to us that these iPhone 5s weren’t going to make the cut.

It appears that the tear-drop shaped iPhone 5 with larger screen and thinner, rounder body is seeing continued design and production delays.

At some point, probably about the time Gou made his remarks, Apple decided it wouldn’t be possible to get this device (again, with Apple levels of polish) into the hands of the public before the holidays. It stopped development on the 5 and ramped up the 4S. Unlike previous years, Apple will likely have enough stock of iPhone 4S’s at launch and rollout to satisfy the even heavier demand.
As Hard Candy cases CEO Tim Hickman said:

After three separate manufacturing partners in China sent him detailed 3D models of an iPhone with a widened, pill-shaped “home” button and a slightly tapered back, Hickman decided to roll the dice.
“The data we got came from somewhere.”

For what it is worth, our Foxconn contact says that iPhone 5 is currently planned for Summer 2012.

-9to5mac

#2 Chris230291

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 04:19 PM

all of this seems to add up and suports my earlier suspicion (that was based on nothing) of some kind of manufacturing problem.
case makers wouldn't have made cases unless they had solid evidence of such a device. and apple wouldn't have included iphone 5 images in their software if they had no plans for a redesign.

simple. you cant argue with either of those points.

#3 kaamaru

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 04:32 PM

Awesome! Just when my contract ends.
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#4 B4NND1T

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 05:02 PM

View Postkaamaru, on 17 October 2011 - 04:32 PM, said:

Awesome! Just when my contract ends.
Same, chances are that we will be glad we waited.
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#5 Chris230291

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 06:12 PM

I'm waiting too. I was/am disappointed with the 4s. It's awesome but I don't think it's worth the moolar considering I have the 4.

If I got the 4s I could still get the 5 even if it comes out next week. I'm just not stupid lol

#6 TKOwnedU5

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 09:05 PM

So when will the iPhone 5 be released
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#7 Vonix

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 09:10 PM

That pic is a terrible photoshop!
It's just a ipt4 cam on a ipt2! BAH!
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#8 kaamaru

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 09:34 PM

View PostTKOwnedU5, on 17 October 2011 - 09:05 PM, said:

So when will the iPhone 5 be released

Next year.
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#9 Robby

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 10:36 PM

Do you think it will be called iphone5 or iphone 6
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#10 Chris230291

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 10:50 PM

i guess 5 but who knows. it might even have a name rather than a number.

#11 iNooblet

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Posted 18 October 2011 - 12:46 AM

View PostChris230291, on 17 October 2011 - 10:50 PM, said:

i guess 5 but who knows. it might even have a name rather than a number.
I'm pretty sure it's going to be a name considering the 4s being the fifth iPhone
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#12 Jumanji

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Posted 18 October 2011 - 02:14 AM

If they release it this summer, Apple is fucked. End of story.
The level of PISSED OFF that all of their customers would be cannot be expressed in words.

#13 Hawkester

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Posted 18 October 2011 - 02:28 AM

Why would people be pissed?
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#14 slayr

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Posted 18 October 2011 - 02:55 AM

I got 4S an I'm happy with it but I will get the next iPhone if its quadcore also.

#15 Jumanji

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Posted 18 October 2011 - 03:05 AM

View PostHawkester, on 18 October 2011 - 02:28 AM, said:

Why would people be pissed?


Because people have been waiting months for the new iPhone, holding off their upgrades. And now everyone is buying the 4S with their upgrades, because they figure there is no iPhone 5. If Apple released the iPhone 5 in just a few months... Apple just wasted our hundred dollars. Hell, maybe more than a hundred.

#16 slayr

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Posted 18 October 2011 - 03:15 AM

I heard sometime in march 2012 iPhone 5 will be released from numourous apple forums.

#17 Robby

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Posted 18 October 2011 - 03:23 AM

View PostChris230291, on 17 October 2011 - 10:50 PM, said:

i guess 5 but who knows. it might even have a name rather than a number.
true, iphone v 0.o
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#18 iPhone

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Posted 18 October 2011 - 04:26 AM

Okay, one thing is, apple will never make the top and bottom borders of the screen of different sizes. That's so wrong

#19 chandler58

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Posted 18 October 2011 - 05:30 AM

I'll wait for the 5 or whatever it's called.
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#20 Hawkester

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Posted 18 October 2011 - 06:31 AM

View PostSaint, on 18 October 2011 - 03:05 AM, said:


Because people have been waiting months for the new iPhone, holding off their upgrades. And now everyone is buying the 4S with their upgrades, because they figure there is no iPhone 5. If Apple released the iPhone 5 in just a few months... Apple just wasted our hundred dollars. Hell, maybe more than a hundred.

It's only $100... iPhones cost like $699 here on a plan
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