As my colleague Harry McCracken illustrated in a deft chronicle of all the misguided rumors about Apple's forever-elusive HDTV last Thursday, supply chain "sources" aren't the surest hook on which to hang your prognostication hat. But that's precisely where this new rumor about Apple releasing its next iPhone a month earlier than expected stems from.
Reuters, citing media in Taiwan (in turn citing the mysterious supply chain) reports that Apple's going to unveil the next version of its iPhone a month earlier than expected.
Since all the iPhones from the iPhone 4 forward have debuted in September -- and everyone's assuming that holds for this next round -- Reuters says we could see the sixth iteration with a 4.7-inch screen in August, followed by larger screen models (in the 5-inch diagonal range) in September. The current iPhone 5 and 5s both sport 4-inch diagonal screens.
Reuters notes the supply chain had told it earlier that 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch versions of the next iPhone are a lock. It says Taiwan's Economic Daily News (as well as the supply chain) are saying Apple intends to produce some 80 million next-gen iPhones. Since the iPhone launched in June 2007, Apple's sold over 500 million units worldwide.