iPhone 5: Another vote for summer

An analyst offers four reasons she doesn't believe the launch has been postponed until fall

"We believe nothing hurts sales more than stale product."

So writes Cross Research's Shannon Cross in a note to clients Tuesday. The stale product, in her view, is the iPhone 4, and she is unconvinced by the arguments put forward by those who expect its replacement to arrive in the fall:

  • Argument 1. Apple needs LTE, since competitors are shipping with LTE. Nonsense, she says. Apple (aapl) does not push the envelope with network technologies (witness the original iPhone, which launched with 2G when some were already on 3G). Apple cares much more about usability and battery life.
  • Argument 2. There's not enough chatter in the supply chain. Maybe that's because the iPhone 5's internals (A5 processor, 3G baseband, cameras, gyroscope) are so similar to the iPad 2's. Also: "We think Apple has learned from last year (when iPhone 4 was leaked) to place tighter information controls in place."
  • Argument 3. Recent Verizon adopters will be upset. Not the ones she's talked to. They bought in February fully expecting a new phone in June.
  • Argument 4. Apple will launch iOS5, and follow with iPhone5 later. For those who expect Apple to wait around for lower power LTE chipsets, or smaller package NFC, or improved camera sensors, Cross quotes Steve Jobs, circa 1983: "Real artists ship."

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[Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter @philiped]

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