The newest Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone 5 could arrive as soon as the second week of September in an initial order that could total more than 4 million units, according to The China Times. The article notes that the company is currently set to begin production of 400k trial units. Macrumors.com thinks the timing makes sense for Apple “A mid September launch lines up nicely with current expectations for the iPhone 5 release. Apple has held an iPod media event in September for the past 3 years. With no iPhone release during this year’s WWDC, Apple is expected to include the iPhone launch at this September event alongside the public release of iOS 5. ”
Given China’s (NYSE:FXI) proximity to Apple’s supply chain, the report should be taken with some good consideration. The Times’ piece also noted that the new iPad (possibly an iPad HD) will have its release likely pushed back until the holiday season (thanksgiving) due to parts shortages and supply delays. The staggered release might do better for Apple anyway since it will give each product time to shine individually and help prevent one from cannibalizing sales of the other. Both are expected to be fully compatible with the coming iCloud service. The iPhone arrival could help Apple boost late 3Q sales on the heels of its best quarter ever, a performance that will be difficult for the company to replicate.
To further substantiate China Times’ reporting, an article from technology website BGR reported that AT&T (NYSE:T) is telling its store managers to prepare for a surge in customers at retail phone shops in early september, the same time frame as the rumored iPhone 5 release. Also noted was that Apple stores are looking to hire more staff in advance of that date.
The iPhone 5 could usher in a resurgence in Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) smart phone market share growth, taking back some ground from current leader Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) while helping to kick Research in Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM) and Nokia (NYSE:NOK) to the curb for good. Telecomm service providers Verizon (NYSE:VZ) and AT&T (NYSE:T) should also see a good bump in revenues from in sale stores and subscription volumes.