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iPhone 5 Introduction Set for October 4 After Months of Rumors

Posted: 29th September 2011
By: CHRIS
iPhone 5 Introduction Set for October 4 After Months of Rumors

Several months back, we published an analysis of predictions related to the iPhone 5 release date. Many of those dates came and went without a new iPhone, but it looks like we may finally be getting an answer to the question: when will Apple release the iPhone 5?

When we last wrote, the rumor mill showed three broadly cut release periods: June/July, September, or a late Q4 holiday introduction. What we now know, after the tech and business media latched on to a report from AllThingsD published September 21, is that Apple has set October 4 as the date for an event introducing (and presumably letting the world know when they can pay for it) its newest device .

The Recorded Future news momentum around an iPhone 5 product release has shifted accordingly to pinpoint October 4 for the iPhone 5 event.

Momentum curve peaking near October 4 for iPhone 5 announcement

So, how much did Apple commentary change momentum over the last few months and what were the first sources to break the news (rightly and wrongly)? We can rewind the clock using Recorded Future to see what sources were out in front of rumors at various stages.

For example, from the date of our last blog post on the subject, May 16, through the end of July, here’s how the iPhone 5 prediction landscape looked.

Predictions published from May 16 – July 31

Click for live view of iPhone 5 predictions published through end of July

Looking back, September 7 was one of the first concrete dates floated. Our index first saw the date claimed for a potential iPhone 5 release by the International Business Times in an article they published on June 17. Just days later, BusinessWeek and Silicon Alley Insider reported that delays in the phone’s production caused market analysts to cut Apple’s price target.

Bump the time of publication forward to the 1st of September, and we start to home in on the early October timeframe based on several sources and leaks. This is the timeframe when predictions start circling the date we now know is on the calendar.

Predictions published from May 16 – September 1

Some of the most influential sources include Boy Genius Report, CNET, Silicon Alley Insider and 9to5Mac (the larger the block, the more predicted events mentioned by each source):

You can see some of the specific release dates that each of those channels offered up from May through September.

iPhone 5 release predictions through Sept 1 - Click for live view

The Date is Saved, Now What?

As the first graph with momentum around Apple’s iPhone 5 product event showed, the date to look forward to is October 4 when Apple will host its event in Cupertino. So, what sources have been populating the web with iPhone predictions since the Apple event news broke on September 21?

iPhone 5 predictions since September 21 - Click for live view

Boy Genius Report (BGR) is by far the most active technology channel with 10 predictions made in recent days. Of those, six times the site registered as being the first to mention such future events while the International Business Times is the most active  of any source in our index related speculation about the iPhone 5.

One of the events for which BGR can claim to be first in reporting is an October 14 release date for the iPhone 5 in the US, UK and three other countries.

iPhone 5 predictions since confirmation of Oct 4 Apple event - Click for live view

Conclusion

Clearly, there have been mistakes – out of ambition to be first in telling the story? – attempting to accurately predict the iPhone 5’s release date. Shots started hitting close to the mark only at the beginning of September, and not until last week did we get an idea and then confirmation of the date for the announcement of a release.

These are exactly the type of moving targets that Recorded Future can help you follow as they develop, track and evaluate the most interesting sources on a particular subject, and easily identify turning points in online discussion.