Apple is set to release its latest version of the iPhone – the iPhone 5 – in September, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal. As long as Apple's suppliers can meet the demand for the new version of the iPhone, consumers will be able to get their hands on one at around the same time Apple releases iOS 5, a new version of Apple's mobile operating system. However, if Apple's suppliers lag behind in manufacturering components for the iPhone 5, analysts then expect the release date to be pushed back further.
The iPhone 5's success is tied perhaps most strongly to the continued success of the company, as the iPhone has made up roughly half of Apple's revenue in the fiscal quarter that ended on March 26. Apple will need a boost in sales to ward off attacks from Android-powered smartphones, such as those made by Samsung and newcomer HTC, who has seen sales skyrocket over the past year. However, considering their are reports saying the iPhone 5 will be a modest upgrade from the iPhone 4 (similar to the iPhone 3GS vs iPhone 3), sales of the iPhone 5, while sure to be in the tens of millions, could possibly be lower than previous installments of the popular phone. Of course, the same was said about the iPad and iPad 2, and both of those devices have outperformed expectations by a longshot.
However, an ace in Apple's pocket could be its partnership with Verizon, which started in February. A significant number of AT&T customers with iPhones could have delayed getting a newer version of the phone to avoid being stuck in another two year contract with AT&T. Normally, those customers would have been able to purchase a new version of the iPhone last month and start their new contract with Verizon, but obviously that switch is being delayed. Hopefully for Apple, the patience of their notably loyal customers is remaining strong.