Analyst: Expect iPhone 5 in September

A Morgan Stanley analyst is pushing the iPhone 5 rumor mill into hyperdrive with reports that Apple will start production on its next phone this August.

Last week, analyst Katy Huberty met with unnamed individuals in Taiwan. After the meeting, Huberty sent a note to clients stating that “Apple’s next iPhone will begin production in mid to late August and ramp aggressively.” The note went on to say that consumers could expect to see the new handset sometime at the end of Apple’s third quarter, which wraps up in September.

Financial analysts are rarely the best sources for solid information on product release cycles, however, Huberty’s predictions do align with Apple’s projected iOS 5 time table.

At WWDC earlier this month, Apple revealed iOS 5 to developers with a planned release date of “Fall 2011.” Thus far, two beta versions of the software for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad are available to developers. Historically, Apple has aligned major iOS releases with new iPhone hardware.

Apple typically releases new iPod devices at the end of September, usually in conjunction with a new feature from the iTunes ecosystem. This year, Apple has announced its greater iCloud music strategy. Parts of the service are already available to users, with the full product launching this fall in-conjunction with iOS 5.

A September iPhone 5 release would also allow Apple to compete against other Android and Windows Phone handsets, leading up to the holiday shopping season.

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