If you just bought a new iPhone 5, prepare to cringe.
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Chinese Newspaper Commercial Times has released a report claiming a new iPhone, dubbed the iPhone 5S, will go into trial production. This is in spite of Apple releasing the new iPhone 5 a mere two months ago.
Trial production is expected to start in December with 50,000-100,000 iPhone 5S’ being manufactured. Full volume production is expected to take place in the first quarter of 2013.
It’s uncharacteristic of Apple to cannibalise one of its recently released products, especially one as short lived as the iPhone 5. However, the current iPhone is notoriously difficult to assemble in bulk, and it is possible Apple will want to slightly alter the current iPhone design in an effort to make it easier to build in mass numbers.
“The iPhone 5 is the most difficult device that Foxconn has ever assembled,” a Foxconn spokesperson noted. “To make it light and thin, the design is very complicated.”
In the first 3 days, 5 million iPhone 5s were sold. Foxconn Chairman Terry Gou conceded the manufacturing plant cannot keep up with demand for the iPhone 5.
“Market demand is very strong” began Gou, “but we just can’t really fulfil Apple’s requests.”
If Apple is making an under-the-skin change to the iPhone 5, they may not even bother changing its name. It’s not an uncommon practice for Apple, who less than a month ago updated the chipset used in its iPad and avoided consumer backlash by keeping the same name.
The iPhone 5 was the biggest iPhone revamp in 26 months. Some Apple loyalists would’ve waited two years just to buy one, and I imagine the news of a new iPhone–one their pristine 24 month contract prevents them from getting–would incite great backlash.
Commercial Times also anticipate a change to the iPad Mini’s screen. The 7.85 inch iPad received a lukewarm reception and it is believed the inclusion of a Retina-grade display could address this. [Via Digitimes]