We’ve gone another week without an announcement from Apple about its next-gen iPhone, but that hasn’t stopped the rumor mill. Will Sprint get the iPhone? Did a case maker just leak iPhone 5 specs? What does the CEO of France Telecom know that we don’t?
In a Thursday report, TechCrunch said France Telecom CEO Stéphane Richard told a group of reporters that the iPhone 5 would be released on October 15. But as the blog pointed out, Apple’s U.S. releases don’t always coincide with international launches.
In the past, Richard not been shy about talking Apple. In May, he told All Things D that Apple had scrapped a plan to get rid of physical SIM cards by using a new kind of small micro-SIM card in future iPhones. Prior to the launch of the iPad in 2010, meanwhile, he told a French journalist that the iPad would be released “in a couple of days.”
There’s also the matter of whether Apple will be expanding the number of U.S. iPhone carriers. Bloomberg said recently that Sprint would not only sell the iPhone, but it would offer its unlimited data plan with the Apple smartphone.
On Tuesday, TUAW reported that Sprint has started briefing employees about an October iPhone launch. The blog’s source said Sprint is only talking with workers about the iPhone 4, and that the carrier would get the iPhone 5 in 2012, but a commenter suggested that the iPhone 4 talk might just be a way to keep iPhone 5 specs under wraps.
While not confirming that Sprint will get the iPhone, Sprint Nextel CFO Joe Euteneuer did tell attendees at a recent banking conference that the carrier was preparing its network for the influx of usage should it get the smartphone. “We’re going to stay ahead of it,” he said of the demand.
But what will the next iPhone look like? Citing an engineer familiar with the iPhone plans, the New York Times said this week that the iPhone 5 will have a faster A5, dual-core processor and an 8-megapixel camera instead of a 5-megapixel one. In April, Sony chief Howard Stringer seemingly confirmed that Sony would provide Apple with that 8-megapixel camera. Last week, a photo posted to Flickr also suggested the iPhone 5 would get the upgrade to 8 megapixels.
The Times also said leaked images of a Casemate iPhone case look like they might match up with rumored iPhone 5 features. Yesterday, the accessory maker published pics of six purported cases for Apple’s next-gen smartphone before pulling them.
If the device ever appears, it seems people are eager to snap it up. RBC Capital analyst Mike Abramsky this week increased his first quarter 2012 iPhone sales prediction to 27 million from 24.4 million and fiscal year 2012 estimates from 105 million to 110 million after interviewing potential buyers. The report signals “unprecedented iPhone 5 demand and strong back-to-school iPad buying intentions,” he said.
Losing track of all the Apple iPhone 5 rumors? Be sure to check out What the iPhone 5 Might Look Like and Six Amazing Phone Technologies We Want in iPhone 5, as well as the 8 Likely iPhone 5 Rumors, and 2 Wild Ones slideshow below.
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