Apple iPhone 5 Due September 21: Report
A new report indicates that Apple's next version of the iPhone smartphone, the iPhone 5, will hit stores in late September, 2012.
Internet blog TechCrunch says it has learned from a "trusted Verizon employee" that the mobile communications firm will begin an employee vacation blackout on September 21. The Verizon worker says the firm will prevent employees from taking time off from then until September 30, a period of nine days.
Such a blackout is significant because it suggests Verizon will need all hands on deck for the release of a very popular new product. (Source: techcrunch.com)
Short Turnaround: Less Than a Year Since iPhone 4S Launch
Industry experts believe Apple will unveil the iPhone 5 on September 12 and make the device available for pre-order several days later. Retailers would then begin offering the new smartphone for purchase and pick-up on September 21.
If the report proves accurate, this timeline would represent a quick turnaround for Apple. Less than a year has elapsed since the Cupertino, California-based firm released the current iPhone model, the 4S.
Apple has remained quiet about the new device's features. However, insiders suggest the screen size will increase from 3.5 inches to 4 inches. Many observers have also suggested the iPhone 5 will support ultra-fast 4G LTE networks capable of rapid download speeds. (Source: pcworld.com)
Many expect the new phone to include near-field communications technology, possibly allowing iPhone users to -- among other things -- make instant payments at retail outlets.
New iPhone to Use iOS 6
The iPhone 5 should be running iOS 6, the newest version of Apple's mobile operating system. New features will include advanced navigation tools, a Notifications do-not-disturb mode, and a coupon app called Passbook.
The TechCrunch rumor is likely to further increase Apple's stock price. The company's valuation recently hit $620 billion, making it the most valuable firm of all time, in terms of stock market value. Microsoft had previously set a record of $619.5 billion in 1999.