iOS 5 Golden Master to Reach iPhone 5 Assemblers By Late September
Ming-Chi Kuo of Concord Securities reveals in a new research note issued to investors that Apple is on pace to release the golden master of iOS 5 to its iPhone and iPod touch assemblers somewhere between September 23rd and September 30th. Given that Apple's production partners overseas can only install the operating system on assembled hardware, this tidbit is perhaps the most valuable clue we've received in some time that points to a mid-October launch of next-gen Apple products.
From the looks of it, Kuo suggests that the new iPhones and iPod Touches have been in production for weeks already. At this stage of the game, assemblers are simply waiting for the iOS 5 golden master payload so that products can then be prepared for shipment. Once the hardware is loaded with the new iOS, it is expected that no more than twelve days will pass before the shipments of shelf-ready product come rolling in.
Although Kuo has made many insightful and accurate forecasts in past notes to investors, he had previously said the iPhone 5 was on course for a September arrival. In his defense, however, it doesn't appear that iPhone 5 hardware issues held up production and subsequently delayed the device's launch. Instead, the perfectionists in Cupertino have struggled with iOS 5 and finalizing this very robust refreshed operating system before release.
Unfortunately for those hoping for a massive redesign with regard to Apple's forthcoming iPhone and iPod touch releases, it doesn't sound like this is going to happen next month. Kuo maintains that significant design overhauls likely won't find their way to the iDevice line until at least 2012.
Source: Apple Insider