Leaked Japanese sales material points to a summer launch for the next iteration of Apple's smartphone.
The document, which is used by sales staff to familiarize themselves with new products, suggests that the handset will be available for order from June before its official roll-out
in July. It also claims that the phone will have a 13 megapixel camera -- as has been widely reported -- and will run iOS 7, the latest version of Apple's mobile operating system which is still being developed in house and is yet to be seen, tried or tested by developers who build apps for either the iPhone or iPad.
The image of the document, first published by French tech blog Nowhere else, could well be fake but with the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference scheduled for June 10-14 in San Francisco, there is a distinct possibility that the company could use the event to launch a new product -- as it has done several times in the past. The iPhone 4 made its debut at the event back in 2010.
Other factors that suggest the document's legitimacy include the fact that if CEO Tim Cook's comments about no new devices coming until the end of the year is true, then it will be the longest gap in the company's 37-year history between product launches. The iPad Mini debuted in October 2012.
Other writers believe that the event cannot pass without some sort of product unveiling, but for many, a new MacBook Pro notebook or Mac Pro professional desktop is more likely.
Apple fans hoping that a second-generation iPad Mini would make its debut at the conference will also be disappointed: the latest supply chain reports from Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities suggest that the production of 7.9-inch retina displays is experiencing quality control issues and that in turn is pushing their expected launch back to October.