updated 09:40 am EDT, Mon September 12, 2011
Analyst tips iOS 5 release plans for producers
Apple is expected to ship the finished version of iOS 5 to manufacturers the last week of September, Concord Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo understood from sources on Monday. The current schedule would have the iPhone 5 and fifth-generation iPod touch get the completed (gold master) OS between September 23 and 30. He explained to AppleInsider that, with preloaded firmware, the devices should take about 10 to 12 days to ship and will conveniently line up with an iPhone 5 release in the first half of October.
Large-scale assembly is believed to have started in late August without available firmware. It's unclear how many will be ready on launch day and whether Apple will have enough to support more than a few countries in the first week. Last year, the iPhone 5 shipped for the US and a handful of primarily Europe-focused countries at first but didn't come to Canada or other countries until weeks later.
A finished release in late September would open the door to iOS 5 shipping before the iPhone 5 and new iPod get it, although Apple usually posts the new release only slightly ahead of time. It's common for the company to build in a week or two to catch any outstanding bugs.
The release is arguably one of the most aggressive since Apple released iOS and is the first that can work completely independently of a computer. A new, somewhat Android-like notification center, iCloud syncing, Twitter integration, Newsstand, and new camera features are just part of the updates, with Nuance-based voice commands a possible "hidden" feature if completed on time.