iOS 5 expected release soon

iOS 5 has reached its record seventh round of beta testing, pointing to the iPhone 5 seeing release date any day now after an imminent announcement event. iOS is the operating system and interface which drives Apple’s iPhone and iPad lines, and while the new iOS 5 will work on various devices, history points to its release being nearly simultaneous with that of the iPhone 5 as Apple has structured its new iPhone launches in that manner for the past four years (here’s more on the iPhone 5 release date).

iOS 5
iOS 5

Never in iOS history have there been this many rounds of developer beta testing. Then again, never has there been this much time elapsed between the introduction of new iPhone models. The iPhone 5 will arrive at least fifteen months after the iPhone 4, going against Apple’s traditionally consistent twelve month spans. So what’s magical about beta 7? The sheer number of beta releases suggests that iOS 5 has essentially been ready for some time, and that Apple’s software team has merely been taking advantage of the extra time for additional fine tuning. And if Apple has set things up such that iOS 5 is already finished, that means it expects the iPhone 5 to be ready any day now. A couple of factors still influence just when the new iPhone will see announcement and a release date…

The primary holdup comes from Apple having a sufficient number of iPhone 5 units so as to pull off a successful launch. Over the past two years, both the iPad 2 and iPhone 4 arrived on the market with an insufficient number of initial units, causing many of those waiting in line on the release date to end up going home empty handed, and prompting outcry which resulted in negative publicity as store shelves continued to lack inventory for the first few months of the product cycle. Apple appears to be going out of its way to avoid a repeat performance with the iPhone 5, manufacturing as many as a hundred and fifty thousand units per day as we speak, with the initial order having reportedly been as large as fifteen million. But there are other factors in determining the iPhone 5 release date beyond merely building up a chest of inventory…

Between the announcement and release date of the iPhone 5, Apple will want time to build up its marketing message through avenues ranging from television ads to media reports emanating from its launch event. The multitude of iPhone retail partners will also need time to gear up for the launch day, which typically sees an inordinate number of people crowd retailers, requiring them to carry extra staff that day. The iPhone 5 also marks the first iPhone model to launch on Verizon from day one, which means the carrier will need to handle its own set of preorders as it gears up to meet four years worth of built up demand. The same goes for Sprint if reports of it gaining the iPhone 5 are true. Here’s more on the iPhone 5