While the specifications and look of the next iPhone are currently not known, one thing that does seem certain is that Apple will be releasing something by the fall of this year. We have even seen job postings as the company gets its retail operations ready for the new iPhone. Now we have a report suggesting that AT&T begin extensive testing ahead of an iPhone 5 release.
Jonny Evans of ComputerWorld is reporting that they have been told by sources that the next iPhone was given to AT&Ts beta testers on July 6th. If the device is indeed being tested now this would mean things like connectivity and reception quality are being looked at.
Apple will be keen to avoid a repeat of the antenna problems which were highlighted shortly after the release of the iPhone 4. Once the final testing is finished and barring any major problems, the manufacturing process can begin. Apple’s engineers will be hoping prototypes don’t end up in the hands of rival manufactures or left in a bar somewhere.
When the Verizon iPhone was sent out for testing it is alleged that the carrier only had two weeks to do so. To avoid any units going walkabout testers had to enter a special PIN code in twelve hour intervals, this was to prove they still had possession of the handset. But with this latest handset it is alleged it is an all new device which will require longer testing.
We have already had rumors that the iPhone 5 could be delayed due to an overheating processor, so if true heightens the need for extensive testing. With the amount of units Apple is likely to sell they will be doing everything possible to get it right.
Despite the growth and popularity of the Android platform, nothing quite grabs the headlines as a new iPhone launch. In the past many consumers may have been put off getting an iPhone as the idea of one AT&T didn’t appeal. But now potential customers currently have the choice of Verizon and maybe some new carriers when the next version is released.
There has been a lot of speculation that the iPhone 5 could be heading to the Sprint network, and may even be a universal handset. This does make sense for Apple as they try to stem the flow of consumers choosing Android. Many people may want an iPhone but if it is not available on their favorite carrier it creates a problem.
Over in the UK when the iPhone was first launched there was a similar situation with O2 having exclusivity. Since this deal ended nearly all UK carriers now offer the device to their customers. This is obviously easier in the UK as the carriers use similar set ups, but if Apple can release a device which will work universally they will be onto a winner.