Apple will debut its iPhone 5 on October 4, with new Chief Executive Tim Cook leading the show, All Things Digital reported today.
The report, citing unnamed sources close to the situation, said the new iPhone itself would go on sale “within a few weeks” of the announcement.
Rumors have swirled for months about when exactly the new iPhone would arrive, with October looking increasingly likely.
The iPhone 5 carries tremendous significance for Apple. The company faces mounting pressure from the Android realm, with a confusing array of budget-minded and high-end models, but Apple chooses to put many its eggs in many fewer baskets. That’s worked out well for the iPhone 4, though, which has attained mainstream success.
The iPhone 4 has held up well under the competitive pressure. But with the breakneck pace of the smartphone market bringing higher-speed LTE networks, larger displays, NFC payments, and other features, Apple’s flagship phone is starting to look a bit long in the tooth.
Apple’s Next Event to Be Held on October 4, Starring Its New CEO
Tuesday, Oct. 4.
That’s the day Apple is currently expected to hold its next big media event, according to sources close to the situation, where the tech giant will unveil the next iteration of its popular iPhone.
While there have been a lot of conflicting reports about the exact timing of the event, including some that pegged it as taking place this month, AllThingsD had previously posted that the rollout of the iPhone 5 would be in October.
While Apple could certainly change its plans anytime, sources said that the Oct. 4 date has been selected by the company to showcase the iPhone 5. Sources added that the plan is now to make the new device available for purchase within a few weeks after the announcement.
And while the iPhone 5 is a much-anticipated handset, the event itself has a lot more importance for Apple than many previous ones.
That’s because it will be newly installed CEO Tim Cook’s first big product introduction, and the place where the public will get a first lengthy impression of him that may well set the tone for Cook’s new role.
And that’s why, said sources, although he’s never quarterbacked an Apple product announcement before, Cook is certain to preside over the iPhone 5 rollout.
He has to, of course. To pass the presentation on to anyone else — even one of Apple’s key executives, such as Phil Schiller, who has handled the Macworld and Worldwide Developers Conference keynotes in 2009 — would undercut Cook’s new role and reinforce public perception that its legendary outgoing CEO and co-founder Steve Jobs is Apple, and that it will be a different company without him.
So, like his predecessor, and as Jobs’s right-hand man and chosen successor, Cook is expected to be the main presenter at all big Apple media events going forward.
That said, according to sources, he’s sure to have help from Apple lieutenants, such as marketing head Schiller, iOS chief Scott Forstall and Eddy Cue, recently named SVP of Internet Software and Services.
Still, the pressure will be on Cook to turn in a good performance at the event, especially after what has so far been a very smooth leadership transition at Apple.
What will be interesting to see, of course, is if Jobs himself will also make an appearance, which is something that is likely to be determined by his health, in a decision that will be made very close to the event.
And while putting Jobs onstage with Cook could diminish the new leader’s first public effort, what better “one more thing” than Jobs himself making a cameo appearance?