As the industry eagerly awaits Apple’s next media announcement,products like iOS 5 and iCloud are nearing final testing stages. A new report claims that Apple is set to release the final iOS 5 Golden Master build to iPhone assemblers in the next two weeks.
Previous reports from supply chains overseas have said that Apple has already begun iPhone 5 production, with the claim that suppliers are making an upwards of 150,000 units per day. iOS 5 has, up to this point, not been installed on the new hardware. But the mobile software is set to reach its final build version very soon…
“Apple reportedly plans to release the golden master of iOS 5, its forthcoming operating system update for the iPhone, and iPod touch, to its overseas assemblers at some point between September 23 and September 30, on time for a mid-October launch of a fifth-generation iPhone.Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo revealed to AppleInsider on Monday that the new iPhone and iPod touch went into mass production in late August, and assemblers are currently scheduled to receive the golden master of iOS 5 the week of September 30. Typically, a golden master version of software is identical to the code that eventually becomes the final release to the public.”
Once Apple has released the final iOS 5 build to the supply chains, assemblers will be able to mass install the software and begin next gen iPhone packaging. As usual, the latest version of iOS will come pre- on new iPhone hardware.
Kuo also notes to MacRumors that, while he doesn’t see an indication of a redesignediPhone 5 this year, he corroborates the reports of a cheaper iPhone based on the iPhone 4.
“Instead, his sources point to the “N94″ iPhone that has been popularly referred to as the “iPhone 4S” as the sole new iPhone model set to ship, with Apple planning for 30 million units through the end of the year. Apple is also planning production of an additional 5 million units of the existing iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS models as it transitions to the new model.”
AppleInsider claims that Apple will begin shipping the next iPhone in early to mid-October, which matches up with previous reports. Most expect a late September event followed by availability in the first two weeks of October.
What’s interesting about this analyst speculation is that Kuo specifically references a new iPod touch entering mass production. Rumors have suggested that Apple will either introduce a 3G-equipped iPod touch, or a cheaper, re-tooled iPhone 4 that relies on data for connectivity. Most likely, a white iPod touch will be introduced, and there’s a chance that a huge redesign of the product will take place in 2012.
iOS 5 is currently on its seventh developer beta, and the final GM build is reportedly set to drop in the next couple weeks.