It will soon be over. The nightmare, the horror, the frustration, the overall EPIC FAIL that is the Vodafone Australia network (#Vodafail) will soon be banished from my life.
Banished, that is, just as soon as Apple can be bothered to launch the next iPhone. As soon as they do, I will be signing up for a fresh new handset – on Telstra. Ahhhh, my word, it will be a relief to have a phone that actually works. Maybe I'll even be able to use 10% of my call and data cap? Wonders...
But, just when will that iPhone launch be? The usual June/July launch window has wizzed past, and all we got was a gimmick-laden, half-baked new OS with faux leather inserts. August is half-gone, and still no official iPhone launch date. Sad face.
And, what will this new fandangled iPhone be called? The iPhone 4S? The iPhone '5'?
These are tough, life-critical questions.
Now there's other rumours of O2 in the UK, prepping its stores for new iPhone collateral for a mid-September timeframe.
And, just this past Monday, I was chatting to a telco rep who suggested 'the phone will be in our inventory system in... October'. Hmmmmm.
But, perhaps the biggest potential giveaway of all comes from Apple's CFO, Peter Oppenheimer, on Apple's recent quarterly results conference call. These results were for the third quarter, ending June 25th 2011. Oppenheimer's reason for an unusually low revenue forecast for the next 'September quarter' (July, August, September), was as follows:
Question: Katy Huberty - Morgan Stanley
The 12% revenue downtick, Peter, in September is much more conservative than your typical September guidance and what you end up reporting in September, which is usually a 20% plus increase for the last 4 years. Can you help us understand why you expect this next quarter to trend softer than seasonal and maybe how you handicap the impact from some of the new software services and products that you expect to launch in the quarter?
Answer: Peter Oppenheimer
Sure. Let me start with the units and I'll give you some thoughts on revenue. For the education-buying season, September has historically been more weighted to higher education and we would expect this to be the same this year. We have the best line-up of Macs ever and we'd expect to see a year-over-year increase in sales. We also expect a year-over-year increase in iPhone sales. And for iPad, we're continuing to expand our quarterly production capacity and point of sale and we'd expect a significant year-over-year increase in sales. For iPod, we would expect to see a sequential year-over-year decline. As we announced at WWDC, we have a lot going on in the fall with the introduction of iOS 5 and iCloud. We also have a future product transition that we're not going to talk about today and these things will impact our September quarter. We remain very confident in our business, our new product pipeline and our momentum.
It's an obvious conclusion to draw, but this seems to me to be an announcement hiding in plain sight. Apple will announce the new iPhone in September. The have indeed had a media event EVERY Septmber for the last few six years (2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005...). OK, it might not be on September 7th...
This September announcement will have an immediate impact on iPhone 4 sales. Every newspaper in the world, pretty much, will report this unveiling. That's the 'transition' responsible for Apple's low guidance for September. And it's noted as 'unusual' by the analyst because the iPhone has traditionally been launched in June/July, making the September quarter typically rather large. This year that won't happen, but Apple's unbelievable sales progress will still mean an epic year-on-year unit sales rise. The iPhone 4 is still selling well, don't forget.
During this coming September, Apple and its suppliers will not be selling the new model iPhone like normal, but instead be working hard to get the inventory into stores across the world, while DESPERATE, TRAUMATISED, would-be customers on Vodafone, like me, will be queuing up to put our names down on lists so we can queue up again at a later date to get our new iJesus-Phone. Glorious.
The new phone will then go on sale in October. Worldwide. Boom.
Who wants to bet me a beer on this? I've been terrible before at predicting the success of certain products, but pretty confident about the launch timeframes. As also said before, there's a definite pattern to the Apple launch stars aligning, and this seems to fit the pattern.
I'd also bet on invitiations going out within the next fortnight, but that is less certain.