After a year and a half, the iPhone 5 turned out to be the iPhone 4S, which left a lot of us wondering what that meant for Apple's release schedule. (Up until then, the company was reliably releasing iPhones every year.) Well, we could be getting back to it: a Foxconn recruiting officer is hinting at a June release for the iPhone 5.
So, quick caveat right up top: who knows if this new release in June will be the iPhone 5. In the wake of "the new iPad" and what's now two years worth of pressure for the fabled iPhone 5 to be damn near revolutionary, I wouldn't be surprised to see Apple swing in a different direction. The iPhone is also a mature platform, and one that hasn't seen that much movement hardware-wise. We'll just have to see.
Back to the matter at hand: a Foxconn recruiter, talking to a TV Tokyo program called "World Business Satellite," mentioned that the company is "looking for 18,000 employees" for a "fifth-generation phone."
From Mashable's Emily Price:
The reporter went on to clarify that the recruiter was talking about the iPhone 5, and the recruiter added that the next generation of the handset will come out in June.
The iPhone 5 — or, if Apple maintains the naming scheme it started with the iPad, the "new iPhone" — will actually be the 6th iPhone released by the company.
And there's this sentiment from Price, which we'd like to echo:
The June rumor, of course, should be taken with a grain of salt. Rumors of the iPhone 5 started almost immediately after the announcement of the iPhone 4S last year.
Why is this rumor interesting? Well, beyond reassuring the Apple faithful that yes, indeed Apple will continue to make iPhones, the iPhone 5 is something of a missing puzzle piece, whereas the iPhone 4S was an oddly shaped one. The 4S was the hardware upgrade over the 4 that its name implies, and held up Siri, which predated the 4S, and has look-a-like apps on other platforms, as the headlining iPhone 4S difference and something only it can do.
The point: that's a trick the iPhone 5 doesn't have in its playbook, and we really don't know where Apple will take it from here. The iPhone line has set the pace since it came out in 2007, and rightly so — it's got the hardware chops with a peerless ecosystem backing it. The iPhone 4S, while wildly successful, doesn't come off as indomitable as its predecessors.
There's really no scenario that sees the iPhone 5 release as a flop, but it's very possible that, when it comes out, it doesn't seem as far out of reach for its competitors, which are already moving into areas where Apple hasn't yet, such as true 4G and 3D displays.