Rumor: iPhone 5 will be in very short supply when it launches

The iPhone 5 is one elusive smartphone. It'll either be very similar to the iPhone 4, with just a spec-bump or come with a completely redesigned body. Our bet is Apple will take the wraps off both models, but it seems the iPhone 5 might see a shortage.

9to5Mac is reporting that it's heard the iPhone 5 — the slightly taller, wider and thinner version "is seeing continued design and production delays, at least on one assembly line (Apple has multiple production sources - Pegatron, Foxconn, etc).  We therefore think that iPhone 5 will be delayed slightly at the very least and may see shortages all the way into 2012."

A shortage? Is that really a surprise? Not really. Whether it's a production problem or a consumer one, Apple's mobile devices hve historically managed to sell out — as was the case with the iPhone 4 and iPad 2. Shortages are to be expected. The problem is, Apple just won't be able to meet demand.

Meanwhile, Case-Mate who "accidentally" posted pics (since removed) of cases for the iPhone 5 online also backs claims that the device will sport a new form factor, going as far as to say that the screen will be 4-inches, the home button will elongated, camera will jump up to 8-megapixels, and will feature wireless charging.

Case-Mate claims both an iPhone 4S and iPhone 5 model will be launching in early October. The New York Times also says an iPhone 5 is on its way in the next few weeks.

For sure, iPhones are en route — two of them — but what's the hold up? We've heard nothing about Apple's annual September music event, that usually brings with it redesigned iPods. Maybe those production problems are real. The only way to guarantee you get an iPhone 5 will be to pre-order one as soon as Apple and its wireless carrier partners all buyers to do so.

TIPB, via 9to5Mac

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