Since Apple announced iPhone 4S on October 4, you're probably wondering when will iPhone 5 be released despite the fact that a Fall 2011 release was heavily rumored. This post, a pretty long one to be honest, will reveal why iPhone 4S was announced instead of iPhone 5.
Earlier this week it was reported that before Steve Jobs passed away, he had been working on iPhone 5. The same iPhone that is supposedly going to have an all new thin and tapered design. While it was said that Steve wasn't working on iPhone 4S because he knew that he didn't have enough time on his hands, the obvious question remains why wasn't iPhone 5 released despite strong evidence leading up to a Fall 2011 release. Folks over at 9to5mac try to make sense of this whole situation with reports from Foxconn managers, Apple employees as well as other sources.
Apple was supposed to release iPhone 4S at WWDC 2011, reportedly, but they started facing setbacks in February due to which the release was postponed. The company was going to introduce Siri with iPhone 4S and by February they were still in the process of integrating Siri code in iOS 5. Given the fact that Apple never compromises on functionality and perfection come what may, it was evident to them that a developer beta of iOS 5 could not be seeded in April. If Apple were to announce iPhone 4S at WWDC, that meant they would have to release iOS 5 publicly as well and they were nowhere near that. Hence this becomes the reason why Apple didn't even whisper about a new iPhone at this year's WWDC.
Since there were no major manufacturing issues related to iPhone 4S, considering the fact that no design changes have been made, it was possible for Apple to release iPhone 4S with a new iOS 4 firmware version at WWDC 2011. However most customers would not have opted for a minor refreshed version of iPhone 4 with no Siri or new software running on it, particularly at that time when iPhone 5 rumors were going through the roof. So a WWDC 2011 iPhone release became impossible. In that very same time period, the teardrop design iPhone 5 was being manufactured, with Foxconn producing over 150,000 iPhone 5 units per day. It was then decided that Apple would ramp up the manufacturing process of iPhone 5 in order to get it ready for release by Fall 2011 where it was destined to be released with iOS 5. The iPhone 4S would then have been announced as a new mid-range iPhone.
However in June Foxconn founder revealed that Apple's next generation iPhone yield rate hadn't been satisfactory and it had become a cause due to which they were losing on profits. He remarked that it was very difficult to build these iPhones because they were having problems fitting all of the components inside this new thin design. We know for sure that Foxconn founder was talking about the all new design sporting iPhone 5 because they have already been building iPhone 4 since last year and wouldn't face any difficulties while building iPhone 4S because its design is exactly the same as iPhone 4. In the meantime, while Foxconn was still struggling to meet iPhone 5 yield rates, several iPhone 5 prototypes were leaked from its facilities which later turned up on the internet and gave case makers an idea about next generation iPhone design. Case manufacturers were so sure that they started producing iPhone 5 cases in huge numbers. However when September came and iPhone 5 wasn't announced in second week of September as reported, sources indicated that iPhone 5 won't be released this year primarily because of the delays cause by design and production related issues. That's when Apple realised it was impossible to release a perfect iPhone 5 this year, so it shelved that plan and speeded up iPhone 4S production so much so that they now have enough stock to cater consumer demand.
If you're wondering when will iPhone 5 be released, as of now sources hint at a possible Summer 2012 launch. There's a possibility that this all new iPhone 5 will be announced at WWDC 2012 and we'll be there to let you know when that happens, as well as everything leading up to its release.