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Rumours are rife that Apple's flagship smartphone - the iPhone 5 - is drifting away from the tradition of mid-year launches seen prior to 2011. The buzz around the most-anticipated gadget of the year is soaring through the roof, even as restless fans unsuspectingly count on speculations the smartphone might release in July.
Contrary to fan expectations, the elusive iPhone 5 release date is shrouded in mystery and there is every chance the 12-month upgrade cycle will be broken. There is also speculation that the delay in its release could signal Apple's long-term plans for iPhone launches. There are, on the other hand, also rumours the next iPhone is expected in September or October; if the latter is indeed true, then the company's tradition regarding launch cycles will certainly be upheld.
Further speculations suggest Apple has been ordering parts secretly from an insider representative of a supplier, which hints at Apple's plans to release the elusive iPhone sometime in September.
Another source, speaking to iMore last week, said the company was targeting an October launch for an LTE-enabled iPhone 5, besides a March 7 release for the iPad 3. It should be noted that Apple has yet to officially confirm the iPad 3 event; the date was one given Jim Dalrymple at The Loop.
In another development, chip-maker Qualcomm recently released its fifth-generation Gobi chips. Subsequently, information was leaked that suggested the new technology would work in future iPads and iPhones. As the Gobi v5 is a universal chip for every network, the future iPhone is expected to come with 4G LTE option. Verizon is expected to be the first to launch iPhone 5 with 4G LTE, as it has a strong 4G network coverage across the U.S.
Furthermore, expect the next generation iPhone to boast Near Field Communications (NFC) technology rivaling Android smartphones which already flaunt this feature. This new functionality could enable users to make cashless transactions through mobile payment methods.
However, it should also be noted that the iOS is plagued with malware and security issues. So, how safe will the NFC transactions be on such a vulnerable system?
We hope the iOS 6 could be the answer to all security and battery performance hassles that have troubled iPhone users for quite some time. That would be another good reason to expect the launch of the iPhone 5 coinciding with the release of iOS 6.
The latest claims of a September or October launch for the iPhone 5 directly contradict several previous rumours that claimed Apple would be releasing the iPhone this summer, presumably at its Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco. That event however is likely to be held during the week of June 11 to June 15 this year.
The iPhone 5 is unlikely to be launched at WWC, principally because it would shorten the upgrade lifecycle period to just eight months for the iPhone 4S and break the traditional 12-month lifecycle pattern that is so synonymous with Apple's major upgrade releases.