blog The big news from the US overnight is that Apple is planning a launch event on October 4 to unveil the next version of its popular iPhone handset, which is popularly being dubbed the iPhone 5. And if the rumours are true, history suggests that an Australian launch of the iPhone 5 will follow shortly before Christmas. The Wall St Journal’s AllThingsD blog reports:
“Tuesday, Oct. 4. That’s the day Apple is currently expected to hold its next big media event, according to sources close to the situation, where the tech giant will unveil the next iteration of its popular iPhone … Sources added that the plan is now to make the new device available for purchase within a few weeks after the announcement.”
If the report of the timing is accurate, it is likely that the iPhone 5 will launch in Australia before Christmas. The original iPhone never launched in Australia, but with every succeeding model since — the iPhone 3G, 3GS and 4, Apple has launched its handset in Australia within a few weeks to a month of the US launch.
Typically, the date of the Australian release will be confirmed by Apple on the date that it unveils its new hardware, with carriers Telstra, Optus and Vodafone confirming their own local launch plans individually in the days afterwards, accompanied by identical statements agreed upon with Apple about the quality of the smartphone.
It is unclear so far what new features the iPhone 5 will introduce. Early rumours existed that pegged the handset as being an upgrade of the iPhone 4, similar to the way that the iPhone 3GS improved on the original 3G without a fundamental design overhaul. However, a number of new persistent rumours are currently making their way around about the device, including a potential new design, 4G speeds, a near field chip for mobile payments, a new camera, a new multi-core processor, integration with Apple’s iCloud service and more.
The extended period since the release of the iPhone 4 — which has stretched out to 15 months, a longer period than the usual year interval between iPhone releases — lends credence to the idea that the iPhone 5 will be a redesigned model, not simply an upgraded iPhone 4.
We’ll let you know more news as it comes in!