Apple has reportedly not yet release a production roadmap to part manufacturers for the upcoming iPhone 5, reports DigiTimes. The rumor comes via a source a Taiwanese touchscreen panel maker. If true, the information may support earlier reports that the next-generation iPhone will not be released this summer, as was previously expected.
While Apple has released a new iPhone every year since its launch of the iPhone 3G in 2008, recent reports indicate that the launch of the iPhone 5 could be delayed until September — or even as far away as 2012 — due to the unavailability of components for the device.
One interpretation of this most recent rumor is that it corroborates the reports of delay, since it would be extremely difficult for component makers to fulfill Apple’s orders if they haven’t yet received word from Apple for when it wants to start producing the new device.
To further this point, the touchscreen panel maker says that Apple orders of the iPhone 4 have not yet slowed down. If the iPhone 5 were soon on its way, the factories would have to stop producing iPhone 4s to be able to start on the next-gen phone.
Another, less exciting and more sober interpretation is that, if this new information is true, none of the previous reports of iPhone 5 delays can be true, since it would mean that Apple hasn’t yet set a timetable for iPhone 5 production, meaning any reports of specific release dates are unsubstantiated.
Regardless of which interpretation (if either) is correct, it at least seems as though the iPhone 5 won’t be available this summer. According to DigiTimes, however, “sources at other brand handset vendors still believe that Apple will come out with a new iPhone as it did in past years in order to fend off the rising popularity of Android models and further strengthen its market share at the time when rival Nokia is expected to see its share weaken as it transitions to Windows Phone.” That model, some say, could be the less expensive entry-level iPhone that has been rumored for months.
At this point, the only thing that’s clear is that nobody outside of Apple has any idea what’s happening with the iPhone 5. So take every report — this one included — about the iPhone 5’s release date with a healthy swig of skepticism.