According to the latest word on Wall Street (opens in new tab), Apple will not be launching an iPhone 5 until 2012.
Keith Bachman, analyst at BMO Capital Markets told his clients that a fifth generation smartphone will launch in mid-2012, supporting the predictions of Mike Abramsky from RBC. While many rumours have suggested that the iPhone 5 will launch in September, there are a number now either expecting a mid-range upgrade of the iPhone 4, dubbed iPhone 4S, or as Abramsky suggested, a release of the iPhone 3GS for free with a contract.
Moreover, the RBC analyst concluded that the cheaper and smaller version of the iPhone 4 will only be released in 2012.
The question remains whether consumers would buy an iPhone 4S knowing that a newer, much more powerful iPhone 5 is just around the corner. While it did work with the iPhone 3GS, it took the iPhone 4 an entire year to come out, whereas in this situation, the transition would be much more abrupt.
Furthermore, while Abramsky’s predictions for the iPhone 3GS are reasonable, the antiquated processing power of this device would make it incompatible with upcoming iOS 5 features, such as the iMessage and the iCloud services.
Nonetheless, with two more months to go, and still no word from Apple, Bachman’s projection for 2012 might just be the closest to the truth.