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iPhone 5 rumor roll-up for the week ending Nov. 11

John Cox | Nov. 14, 2011
The iPhone 5 becomes the smartphone equivalent of the Holy Grail, a repository of the iOSsphere's technological hopes and dreams and, best of all, melodrama. This week: shatterproof OLED display, the curse of the iPhone 4S, cursing Samsung and the January surprise.

The Korean story quotes an unnamed Samsung Electronics official who is "not denying the rumors": "As far as we understand, Apple newly assigned production of two key components for its iPhone 5 and iPad 3 to a Taiwanese company, but these showed problems such as overheating during final tests." OK, wait: two. TWO key components.

Or ... maybe just one. Michael Nace, at iPhone 5 News Blog, is thrilled with this "news." "If this is the case, then the iPhone 5 might be just one piece away from completion," he writes.

Nace is positive that the "key part" is Apple's quad-core A6 processor. And why? Because he reads the "sub-text."

"While the article [at The Hankyoreh] never stipulates that this 'component' was the A6 processor, the sub-text of the article suggests that this issue -- which also involves Samsung -- must be referencing the rumors that Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., Ltd. (TSMC) was to take over production of Apple's future A6 chip, which we originally reported back on August 14th. But on October 17th, an update to this story suggested that Samsung was back on the job for the A6 processor job."

This parts ping-pong game has been going on for a while, according to the original Korean story. "Since early this year, Apple has followed a strategy of assigning production of components that had been made by Samsung Electronics to Taiwanese firms instead ..." But it doesn't cite any evidence for that assertion.

Likewise, International Business Times, which picked up this story, avoids any evidence when it speculates that "after the Taiwanese supplier failed to replicate Samsung's success, Apple CEO Tim Cook and Samsung COO Lee Jae-yong apparently met last month to mend ties."

There was a meeting, following the October memorial service for Steve Jobs, Apple's co-founder and longtime CEO. But after arriving back in Korea, Jae-yong told reporters at an airport press conference that the talk was about "long-term parts cooperation arrangements" between the two companies, according to the Korea Herald

The Samsung executive said the two companies' current contracts for parts extend through 2012. "For the 2013-2014 period, we discussed how best to supply even better parts," he said.

iPhone 5 will be ready in January

The same IBTimes story referenced above insists, as do many others, that "reports confirming" (which sounds much more credible than "rumors confirming" or "Bill Palmer confirming") the iPhone 5 was "already in the works" for 2011 do indeed "indicate that the iPhone 4S is just an interim model."

"Being an update to the iPhone 4 rather than a successor implies that the true fifth generation iPhone, i.e. the iPhone 5, should be ready in a couple of months rather than in a year," IBTimes confidently predicts.


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