Will Apple unveil iPhone 4G early after leak?

It's no secret that Apple's been coming out with new iPhone every summer for the past couple of years, but Gizmodo's monster scoop of what appears to be the next-generation iPhone might keep consumers from buying existing models — and at least one Wall Street analyst thinks Apple might react to that possibility by announcing the new iPhone ahead of schedule. Will that really happen, though?
yahoo - In an e-mail to Cult of Mac, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster wrote that he thinks Apple might "come out" with the fourth-generation iPhone "sooner versus later" thanks to Gizmodo's bombshell scoop last week. Why? Because "it's safe to say, more people are now waiting for the new one," resulting in "a negative" for sales of existing iPhone models in the coming weeks, Munster wrote.
How much earlier? Munster didn't say, but Apple revealed its previous two iPhone models — the 3G and the 3GS — at its annual Worldwide Developer Conference in June, and (up until now, at least) there's no reason to believe Apple will change course this year.
Indeed, the latest round of rumors (based on reports of suspicious-looking bookings at the Moscone Center in San Francisco) pegged June 22 as the day when Apple might take the wraps off its latest iPhone. But Apple hasn't even officially announced the dates for this year's WWDC, much less a date for a new iPhone announcement.

Assuming the rumored June 22 iPhone announcement date is (er, was?) correct, well ... that's eight weeks away. If Munster's right and Apple does decide to move up the iPhone 4G announcement, you'd think Apple would pick a date in May — there wouldn't be much point in doing it later than that.
But is Munster right? That's a point for (heavy, I'm sure) debate. After all, Apple has a way of stubbornly plugging ahead and doing its thing, regardless of everything and everyone else. I'm sure Gizmodo's iPhone 4G scoop caused quite a stir on its Cupertino campus, but it's hard to believe the bull-headed Steve Jobs would throw his carefully laid plans out the window because of a blog post, no matter how many spoilers it contained.

And then there are the practical concerns: Could Apple really manage to start shipping the next iPhone early? If not, wouldn't announcing the new iPhone ahead of schedule have the same effect as the Gizmodo scoop — that is, keep consumers from buying existing iPhones until the next one is on sale?
Personally, I'm betting that Apple is sticking with its plan, or at least the plan I'm assuming it already had: announce the iPhone in late June, start shipping it a week or so later.

What about you? Think Apple would push up the iPhone 4G announcement/sale date because of the Gizmodo leak? Or will it stick with the program? (Or is it all just an Apple-concocted conspiracy anyway?) Lemme know what you think.
Note: As some have pointed out in the comments, the "4G" in "iPhone 4G" refers to the fourth generation of the iPhone, not 4G data networks. Confusing, I know, especially given that the "3G" in "iPhone 3G" does, in fact, refer to 3G cellular technology, while the original EDGE-only iPhone is often referred to as the "iPhone 2G." For better or worse, though, the leaked iPhone in the Gizmodo story has been slapped with the "iPhone 4G" moniker, and will probably stay that way until Apple gives it an official name. (The "iPhone HD" is one possibility that's been bandied about, referring to the rumored double-resolution display.)

Apr 28, 2010 15:34

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