Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Verizon vacation blackout window verifies iPhone 5 launch date

Another vacation blackout, and we now have confirmation of the date of the iPhone 5 retail launch (we mean in stores, if you're not clear). It's Sept. 21.

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Earlier, an AT&T vacation blackout starting in mid-September pointed to an approximate timeframe for the iPhone 5 launch but the Verizon vacation blackout starts on precisely the day already believed to be the launch date.

The blacked-out Verizon vacation window begins on Sept. 21 and extends through Sept. 30.

It's expected that Apple will announce the iPhone 5 - and perhaps the iPad mini, new iPod touch, and new iPod nano - on Sept. 12 (there is also the possibility, though with smaller certainty, that a redesigned iPad with the new, smaller dock connector will be announced on Sept. 12). It's also expected that pre-orders for the iPhone 5 will begin that day.

Here's how these rumored dates line up with last year's iPhone 4S introduction.  In 2011:
  • Apple announced the iPhone 4S on Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2011. 
  • Pre-orders began on Friday, Oct. 7.
  • The iPhone 4S was available in stores on Friday, Oct. 14, a week later.
The 2012 timeline, as rumored, would be as follows:
  • Apple will announce the iPhone 5 (or new iPhone, whatever it wants to call it) on Wednesday, Sept. 12
    Pre-orders will begin that same day.
  • The retail launch date of the iPhone 5 will be on Friday, Sept. 21.
Aside from the pre-order date, this all seems to line up with last year's historical experience.

In addition, last year Apple began distribution of iOS 5 on Oct. 11. That would imply that the iOS 6 OTA distribution process would begin, this year, on Sept. 18 (or thereabouts).

Those thinking of an upgrade to iOS 6 should remember, though, that YouTube is not available as a standard part of the platform. If you or your children are in love with YouTube, you should hold off on that iOS 6 upgrade unless Google gets YouTube into the App Store before then.

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