Unnamed sources have told the media that Apple's next iPhone will enter production during the current quarter. That means the device could be ready for consumers by this summer, and the rumored "cheap iPhone" could ship before the end of the year.
The Wall Street Journal's Lorraine Luk, Jessica E. Lessin and Eva Dou reported, "Apple Inc. plans to begin production of a refreshed iPhone similar in size and shape to its current one in the second quarter of the year, according to people familiar with the device's production, teeing up a possible summer launch for the next version of its flagship device. At the same time, Apple continues to work with its manufacturing partners in Asia on a less expensive iPhone that could be launched as soon as the second half of this year, these people said. The four-inch device likely will use a different casing from the higher-end iPhone. Apple has been working on different color shells for the phone but its plans remain unclear."
CNN's Heather Kelly noted, "It wouldn't be shocking for Apple to release an iPhone in the summer. The company has released a new iPhone model every year since the device debuted in 2007, and the release dates have all been in the summer or fall. The iPhone 5 came out in September 2012, the iPhone 4S in October 2011, and the three versions before that in the summer months. One possible launchpad for the as-yet-unnamed new device could be Apple's annual Worldwide Developers Conference, typically held each June in San Francisco. Exact dates for WWDC 2013 have not been announced."
However, InformationWeek's Eric Zeman reported, "It is taking longer to develop iOS 7 then perhaps Apple believed it would, because the company has pulled engineers off of Apple's main desktop operating system to help with its mobile platform. The comments about the delay come from John Gruber, long recognized as someone with an inside track at things going on in Cupertino."
Whether the reports are correct or not, this seems an appropriate day for cell phone rumors to surface, as it is the fortieth anniversary of the first cell phone call. The Daily Beast's Sean Macaulay wrote, "On this day, April 3, in 1973, a man called Martin Cooper crossed Sixth Avenue clutching a telephonic gadget that would change history beyond all imagining. The device was the world’s first handheld cellphone, and Cooper had invited reporters to watch him make its first public call. Even sophisticated New Yorkers stopped and gaped. This new phone was not only cordless, it was small and light—just 10 inches long and a mere 2 1/2 pounds."