During Verizon’s recent earnings call, CEO Fran Shammo dropped what could be viewed as a hint that the sixth-gen iPhone will arrive in the fourth quarter of this year, vaguely describing the device as a “major phone.” When asked what might have prompted customers to hold off on upgrading their devices in the second quarter, Shammo answered that people may be waiting for the rumored new phone to make its debut at the end of 2012. While he could have been referring to the imminent Nexus update, this seemed rather a hint to the widely anticipated “new iPhone.”
Previous rumors have been pointing to September/October as the most likely timeframe for the iPhone 5 release. Since Verizon’s fiscal fourth quarter begins on October 1st, though, Shammo’s statement would suggest the new handset is slated for launch in the latter half of the speculated timeframe.
Although Verizon chief could pass his words off as merely an acknowledgement of the floating rumors with no inside information allowing him to make any solid conclusions, Apple watchers that are out for any hints of the company’s plans are clearly wondering if Shammo was indeed familiar with the iPhone 5 production schedule.
In 2011, the executive made several comments on Apple’s iPhone-related plans, confirming that the future iPhone 4S would be a world phone supporting both GSM and CDMA networks. He also added that Verizon would start carrying the product simultaneously with AT&T, although the iPhone 4 debuted on Verizon’s network midway through its lifecycle.