Why iPhone 5 is delayed

Since the launch of the first iPhone in June 2007, Apple has consistently brought us a new iPhone model every June. But not this year. This prompts wide speculation on the reason for the delay. Here’s our take:

  • Apple is waiting for iOS 5 and iCloud to be ready before the launch of the new hardware. Apple can easily launch iPhone 5 in June with iOS 4. But iCloud and iOS 5 will bring a whole new experience. And Apple wants iPhone 5 to be associated being the device for the iCloud.
  • The usual annual refresh cycle for iPod is September. Apple plans to merge the launch of iPhone with the annual iPod refresh, as there is not a lot of excitement anymore for iPod models. iPod touch is running the same software as iPhone, thus it makes sense to launch both together.
  • A new iPad model is expected every April. By making iPad and iPhone about 5-6 months apart, there are more breather and less contention for resources for Apple’s supply chain vendors.
  • The annual Apple developer conference WWDC is in June. It makes sense to launch a new device few months apart so that developers can get ready their apps.
  • One new feature in iOS 5 is iMessage, which will by pass telco’s SMS gateway if you’re sending the message to another iMessage user. This means potentially hugh loss of income for telco especially in Asia market where there are high penetration of SMS usage. It takes time to negotiate with worldwide telcos for the launch.
  • September//October is nearer to the golden shopping period that is Christmas. A launch and marketing event nearer Christmas will bring a greater mindset to consumers than a June event.