MacRumors reported on Wednesday that AT&T customer care representatives claim to have heard directly from Apple that the launch of the next-generation iPhone will miss the company's usual early summer timeframe.
"Apple has informed us that they do not plan to release the iPhone in the June to July timeframe, though there will be a newer version in the future," the report noted the AT&T representative as saying. "Unfortunately, we have not been given a release time for the new phone. We will release this information on our website when it is available to us."
The representative made the comments after a reader allegedly called AT&T over concerns that his upgrade eligibility had been pushed back several months.
The rumor should, of course, be taken with a grain of salt. The report's author Eric Slivka warns that he is "always skeptical about such information shared by customer-facing representatives of Apple or associated companies."
However, Slivka add that "due to the specific nature of the claim and its presentation in a matter-of-fact manner expressly citing Apple as the source of the information, the tidbit is worth sharing."
Despite the dubious nature of the report, it does appear to track with a number of other sources. Last month, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo with Concord Securities told AppleInsider that supply chain sources indicated Apple's next handset would not begin production until September. Reuters also reported last month that sources claim the next iPhone won't arrive until September.
Apple has traditionally unveiled a new iPhone at the annual Worldwide Developer Conference in June. However, this year's WWDC, which takes place from June 6 to June 10 at San Francisco's Moscone West, is expected to be a software-centric event. In its announcement, Apple teased that this year's show will "unveil the future of iOS and Mac OS."
Reports have suggested that the so-called iPhone 5 will feature only minor upgrades to its form factor and features, though the device has been rumored to house an 8-megapixel camera and may feature a larger display.