While Apple enthusiasts are now enamored by the iPhone 4S, which released on Oct. 14 and has already sold over 4 million handsets, many are still wondering what happened to the iPhone 5 that they were expecting.
9to5Mac proposes, with clues from iPhone manufacturer, Foxconn and other Apple insiders, that gaps in the development of the artificial intelligence system, Siri and its flagship OS, iOS 5, setback production of the iPhone 5.
The iPhone 4S and iOS 5 were to be unveiled at Apple's Worldwide Developer's Conference in June.
However Apple began to realize in February that it would not be able to get beta versions of the new OS out to developers by April, in time for the conference.
At this time Siri was only at a beta stage as well, and was only available in three languages.
In the mean while, the late Steve Jobs was then headlining production of the iPhone 5, his final major project at Apple, CNET details.
Plans for the teardrop design of the iPhone 5 were ahead of schedule and prototypes were testing well.
Commentators suggest that the iPhone 4S was meant to be a test to see how consumers responded to Siri, before implementing the program onto a completely revamped iPhone 5.
However, the delays in production of iOS 5 and Siri projected that the OS would not be ready for unveiling until October, instead of April as planned.
Apple decided to speed up the hardware production of the iPhone 5 and planned to attempt a dual release with the iPhone 4S.
The iPhone 4S would stand as the “flagship phone for 2011” and the iPhone 5 would be its low cost alternative, according to 9to5Mac.
With this plan, Apple began to encounter problems with fitting the updated software into the proposed “thinner and lighter” chassis of the iPhone 5.
“The touch-screen devices are so thin. It’s really difficult to install so many components into the iPhones,” WSJ quoted the founder of Foxconn, Terry Gou as saying.
9to5Mac proposed, that at this time Foxconn had given iPhone 5 prototypes to iPhone case manufacturers, which is why several leaks of the cases were seen in late summer.
By this time, Apple and Foxconn began to realize that the number of iPhone 5’s that needed to be produced in order to meet a holiday demand was not possible.
By September, Apple had decided to release the iPhone 4S with the original iPhone 4 chassis and what possibly are software updates originally meant for the iPhone 5.
A source at Foxconn has proposed that the next iPhone, which some are suggesting might now be called the iPhone 6, will release in summer 2012.
Other sources suggest a summer 2013 release.