Apple will introduce the iPhone 5 at its Cupertino headquarters in California on Oct. 4 at 10 a.m. (local time). The highly anticipated new model, which comes over one year after its predecessor in June of last year, will likely serve as a stress test for the popularity of Samsung’s Galaxy S 2 and the new high-speed Galaxy S2 LTE, which runs on 4G tech.
The company has not yet disclosed the worldwide release date for the new model.
On Wednesday, Apple sent an email to U.S. media with the message “Let’s talk iPhone,” inviting reporters to an event for its new product. The company’s new CEO Tim Cook will likely host the event, and Steve Jobs, who resigned last month, may appear via a video message, the foreign press reported.
Keeping with tradition, Apple has the model’s dimensions and features strictly under wraps. The Wall Street Journal and other U.S. media are busy speculating on what may be in store for consumers based on information leaked by suppliers of iPhone parts, a case manufacturer and telecommunication companies.
They reported that the iPhone 5 will offer improved performance on a 4.2-inch screen with a dual-core processor. The prevailing assumption is that its edges will be rounder — more like those of the iPhone 3G.
There are also rumors that Apple will introduce more than one smartphone this time around, possibly including a lower-priced model. These are largely based on comments by Apple board member Al Gore, the former U.S. vice president, who said recently that “new iPhones will be introduced,” stressing the plural form.
If Apple does shoot for a new pricing policy and new technology, it would pose a fresh challenge to Samsung, which has seen surging sales for its Galaxy S 2 recently. The company has shifted 10 million units just five months after its release of the handset but still trails Apple.
Samsung has however bounced back with the Galaxy S series after the company faltered in the wake of the iPhone’s cult-like popularity. The Korean tech giant secured 17.5 percent of the global smartphone market in the second quarter of this year, slightly behind Apple’s 18.5 percent. This has led pundits to predict that Samsung will rank No. 1 in smartphone sales this year.
The release date of the iPhone 5 in Korea has not been set yet. SK Telecom and KT are discussing with Apple the prospect of issuing the phone in early November.