There are rumours emanating from China about the next iteration of the Apple iPhone, the iPhone 5S. It is said that Apple has accelerated the certification process for the new phone due to the problems it experienced with iPhone 5 production. It is very surprising to hear about an iPhone 5S so soon after the iPhone 5 was launched but it seems like all smartphone manufacturers are making their production cycles shorter. Hero devices are tending to have a briefer time at the top; becoming less like a famous Roman gladiator and trending towards Mayfly territory.
"Look at my old iPhone"
The Commercial Times says that the iPhone 5S will include features that Apple wanted to put in the iPhone 5 but which couldn’t be implemented in time. The early trial production of between 50,000 and 100,000 units in December this year is expected to lead to an end of Q1 2013, perhaps Spring launch. Business Insider notes that the first models of the iPhone were released in the month of June, which shifted to September for the past two years. We could be looking at a six month cycle from now on; September and March.
Apple iPhone 5 production problems or design issues?
MacWorld quotes the Chinese newspaper as saying “Facing low yield rates in the production of iPhone 5, Apple has accelerated the certification processes for related parts and components for the iPhone 5S”. Forbes magazine looks at this from a different angle. Tim Worstall, writing for Forbes suggests that it is actually design problems that have caused the iPhone 5 production problems. He reckons the anodised aluminium case is “waaay to easy to scratch” and that he “wouldn’t be surprised to see the iPhone 5S coming either plastic again, in pure (ie, not anodised) aluminium or possibly even in some flavour of liquid metal.”
So an update to the iPhone 5 in the shape of the “5S” model could do Apple quite a few favours. With a different casing which could be manufactured in a quality that is “up to scratch”, with less care and time, Apple could really manage to pump up production of the new iPhone 5S using the same production facilities. The company need only add a couple of small “innovations” along with the new case design to justify it as a 5S model; with a slightly faster component here and there or better camera, then sprinkle it liberally with marketing hot sauce for the regular customers.
The same Chinese news source also indicated that Apple TV and a new version of one of the iPad family will be out in the same time-frame as the iPhone 5S.