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Apple's iPhone 5 Launching Later Than Expected?

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AUTUMN SUNRISE
DailyFeed

If there's one thing consistent in the wildly erratic Apple (AAPL) rumor mill, it's the overwhelming indifference to the public's patience and emotions. Whether it's a pipe dream feature, a speculated lack of support, or a shuffled release date, Apple fans' anticipation and excitement is at the whim of every "source familiar with the matter." Will it be quad-core? Will it have 4G support? Will it be released sooner than later? For every up, there's inevitably a down.

This new rumor, unfortunately, is a down.

According to the often reliable Japanese blog Macotakara, the iPhone 5 will not be released in the summer as previously expected. Rather, new word suggests that the highly anticipated smartphone will launch in the fall.

It wasn't too long ago that early word from DigiTimes and 9to5Mac pegged the iPhone 5's unveiling and debut in June. The early info related that Apple would break the fall release schedule set by last year's iPhone 4S, which was the first iPhone unveiling that didn't take place midsummer. However, returning to the original June release schedule would put the interim between the iPhone 4S and iPhone 5 at eight months -- a particularly short life cycle, even for Apple. Considering that the iPhone 4S is posting fantastic sales numbers, it does seem unlikely that Apple would be quick to introduce the new and improved model.

Despite Android's (GOOG) rapid release schedule which introduces new flagship phones practically every month, Apple has no reason to rush. Aside from maybe pining for 4G support, iPhone 4S users aren't, by and large, itching for a replacement. But as with any delayed entry into the smartphone marketplace, consumers will see increased competition -- in Apple's case, from Android and perhaps even Windows Phone (MSFT) and Nokia's (NOK) joint efforts on a Windows 8 device. Then again, Apple has rarely been left wanting for customers.

So with a fall debut now being bandied about, the race is on between the iPhone 5 and an honest-to-goodness BlackBerry 10 (RIMM) device.

But even if we don't see an iPhone 5 until December, call me crazy, my money's still on Apple.


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