Supply Chain Whispers Hint at Apple Preparing September iPhone 5S Launch

Avago Technologies, the manufacturer of custom wireless chips for the iPhone, has said that its largest North American customer (which could be Apple) is preparing for the launch of a next-gen. smartphone handset or handsets in September.


“Avago noted it is already seeing an initial ramp of a new product transition (we believe iPhone 5S) and expects a greater ramp in the following quarter (October quarter),” Um wrote in a note to investors. “We anticipate more positive supply chain news from Apple suppliers through the summer and as we get closer to product launch.”

The comment was interpreted by Wells Fargo analyst Maynard Um firstly as a sign of life in Apple’s supply chain, and secondly as an indication of a September launch of the iPhone 5S.

The analyst underscores Jim Dalrymple’s earlier forecast/expectation from the upcoming WWDC keynote. Dalrymple is known for his real inside sources at Apple, so he could be right. But as John Gruber of Daring Fireball pointed out yesterday, Apple has chosen the WWDC for new iPhone announcements on three occasions: the iPhone 3G, 3GS and iPhone 4.

The catch is that the product launch schedule has undergone some changes recently, which makes a September launch more likely than a June presentation of the hardware.