Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Apple seen stockpiling components as September iPhone 5 launch rumors continue

More people are piling on the Sept. 12th date for an iPhone 5 introduction. After Monday's rumors about that date for an intro, with Sept. 21 as a retail launch date, we've got still more sources reporting in.

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AllThingsD's sources have confirmed the week of Sept. 9 for an event. Apple loves Wednesday for its events, so the 12th is an obvious date during that week.

Prior to last year's delayed iPhone 4S launch, that would have been a good date for Apple's music-centric fall event. Now, though, it would seem a perfect date for the iPhone 5 launch.

We also expect to see an iPad mini introduced, a new iPod nano, and perhaps a new iPod touch (which is overdue a refresh).

While it's unclear what these devices will sport in terms of hardware, it's a certainty that the iPhone 5, iPad mini, and iPod touch will launch only if iOS 6 is complete. Apple won't release them without the new OS.

We also expect the iPhone 5 to have a quad-core processor, a 4-inch screen with a new 16:9 aspect ratio, LTE, a moved headset jack, and a centered FaceTime camera.

Meanwhile, a look at Apple's latest 10-Q filing seems to point to something huge coming, and coming soon. Apple's prepayments for inventory components rose $1.15 billion in the June quarter. According to Wells Fargo Securities analyst Maynard Um, that puts Apple's prepayments at their highest level in four years.

Um said, those prepayments are an indicator or one - or perhaps more (don't forget the iPad mini) upcoming launch(es). In a Monday note to clients, he said,

“Historically, such increases have been followed by a solid ramp-up in revenue in the following 2-3 quarters. In our view, an increase in inventory component prepayment may suggest that Apple is securing supply for potential new product launches.”

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