Apple got off schedule in terms of an annual summer refresh cycle with the iPhone 4S, which launched instead in October, but the Cupertino-based company could be back on track this year, if the latest rumors pan out.
The information comes from “a reliable source” to 9to5Mac. Credence in the matter is given by the fact that the Apple-focused blog states that the source is the same one who told them late last summer that there would be no 2011 iPhone 5, but instead an iPhone 4S.
According to the source, several sample devices are already “on display,” all varying slightly from one another such that the final design is not discernible. What seems clear is that the teardrop design rumored leading up to the iPhone 4S introduction is nowhere to be seen.
If the rumors are true, Apple will be moving to at least a 4-inch display, possibly made by LG. the 4-inch screen rumor has been around since last year.
The return to a summer refresh comes by extrapolation. In 2011, iPhone 4S production did not ramp up until late spring. Using an estimated five month lead time, Apple could return to a June / July launch for the iPhone 5.
We’d bet there will be some customers who feel cheated if that is so, though, if they had rushed into the iPhone 4S with an A5 processor, 8MP camera, and Siri, and little else different between it and the iPhone 4.