A few days ago, there have been a rumor that Apple is already gearing up for the test production of the iPhone 5S on December. However, the most notable part of this ongoing rumor is that volume manufacturing will kickstart by early 2013. This particular rumor has of course spread like wildfire throughout the blogosphere. As you all already know, Apple has broken tradition by releasing the fourth generation iPad last month, a mere 6 months after the release of the iPad 3, thus effectively breaking the yearly cycle of the iPad line. So with this iPhone 5S rumor, will Apple really say goodbye to its yearly update cycle?
Are The iPhone 5S Rumors Credible?
Well, before we decide to put credence into these ongoing rumors about the iPhone 5S, it is worth checking out the source of this particular rumor. About 4 days ago, DigiTimes published a report indicating that the Apple's supply chain will soon hit trial production with a new version of the iPhone 5 or iPhone 5S. The source of this information said to come from a Chinese-language publication, The Commercial Times.
If you have been keeping up with everything Apple, you should know by now that DigiTimes isn't exactly the most reliable source when it comes to reports regarding the iPhones and iPads. The publication has the reputation of being a hit-and-miss regarding their Apple product reports, although one could say that they have more misses than hits. The bottomline is, in the many cases that DigiTimes were wrong, this could be one of them. Although, Apple has already broken the release cycle for the iPad before, so they could potentially do the same thing with the iPad.
Bye-Bye to Yearly Update Cycle?
When the fourth generation iPad was unveiled last month, a lot of disgruntled customers aired their displeasure about the unveiling. This is especially true for those who bought the New iPad back in March. What was thought to be announced is a slightly modified iPad 3 but it turned out to be labeled as a newer generation device. This clearly made customers very upset because they were at least expecting to have the most cutting-edge device for half a year more, and then Apple completely breaks these expectations.
With this rumor, this may suggest that Apple could also do the same thing with other of its products. In fact, The Commercial Times also added that after a quarter later, the company will be releasing a new version of the iPad since they were not quite content with current display quality of the current model. So could this signal a change in Apple's established way of things? If things are indeed going this way, by shortening the release cycle, we can also expect the same quality of improvements. The more likely scenario is that each product will have improved specs but with the same design. This is to take advantage of these days' faster pace of component development and changes in supply pricing.
Keeping Up With The Competition?
The matter of the fact is, Apple's competitors in the smartphone market like Samsung, HTC and other Android OEMs don't adopt the same annual update cycle. The companies generally churn out updated phones with increasing frequency. Original versions of their devices often get modified versions with usually more connectivity or storage space. For Samsung, its Galaxy S line has been on a yearly update cycle but there are numerous Galaxy devices have been released on the side. While this did not really affect Apple in the past, that is not true anymore as Samsung is a very strong competitor now. In addition, the above report also indicated that Apple will introduce new lower-priced options, the same case with the iPad mini. So this could be an indication that Apple is keeping up with the competitions' product releases.
However, the consumers have already known Samsung's scattershot approach when releasing new products. Apple is known for the exact opposite, a more focused approach. With a yearly cycle, consumers are given the chance to anticipate and plan when purchasing Apple products. If the iPhone 5S does introduce a new update cycle, this could affect people's expectations. So will they get the iPhone 6? Or perhaps they should wait about half a year for the iPhone 6S? This wait-and-see option can potentially affect sales volume all throughout the year.
Again, it is better if we take this iPhone 5S rumors with a grain of salt. It is still far too early to be speculating anything. However, Apple adopting a mid-year release cycle is not too far-fetched of an idea. The smartphone market, as you can see is taking a very rapid pace and is changing constantly. Perhaps, the Cupertino company may have thought that adopting a new release cycle would help them keep up with the competition. However, there are fans that love Apple for their predictable release cycles considering that it would enable them to plan their purchases and upgrades.
So do you think Apple will change its update cycle with the iPhone 5S?Contact Us for News Tips, Corrections and Feedback