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Buzz: iPhone 5 arrives September 21, demand 'unprecedented'

New connector? Check. Larger display? Well, sort of...

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Apple's highly anticipated iPhone 5 – or whatever the marketeers at Cupertino choose to call it – will be released on September 21, according to the iPhone rumor du jour. In addition, a new survey shows the pent-up demand for it to be "unprecedented."

A Monday article on the French-language website App4Phone (Google translation here) cites information from a Chinese source – well, en provenance d'une source chinoise, to be exact – who says its release date will be September 21.

In addition, the same source – from a company that manufactures iPhone accessories – confirmed the rumor that the next iPhone will use a 19-pin connector, replacing the 30-pin hook-up that Apple has used for its iPods, iPhones, and iPads since the third-generation iPod was introduced in April 2003.

The source chinoise also said that the headphone jack will be moved from the upper left to the lower left of the iPhone, and that the iPhone's length of 123.9 millimeters would accommodate a display with a diagonal measurement of 3.75 inches – larger than the current iPhone's 3.5-inch display, but noticeably smaller than, say, the 4.8-inch display of the popular Samsung Galaxy S III.

Interestingly, a recent small-scale survey conducted by Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster discovered that a majority of the 400 people to whom he showed drawings of the iPhone 4S with its 3.5-inch display and a Motorola Droid Razr Maxx, which has a 4.3-inch display, preferred the smaller form factor.

That same survey, by the way, concluded that Apple had 80 million iPhone 5 sales "in the bag." A more-comprehensive survey just released by ChangeWave Research and reported by CNNMoney gives credence to that figure. ChangeWave queried 4,042 American consumers, and discovered that 14 per cent of them said that they were "very likely" to purchase an iPhone 5, and 17 per cent of them said that they were "somewhat likely" to buy one.

Note that those plan-to-buy figures were of all the consumers who ChangeWave Research surveyed, not merely the percentage of those who were planning to buy a smartphone – a level of demand that the researchers deemed "unprecedented."

ChangeWave Research further notes that demand for Samsung smartphones is also growing, although it remains well below the plan-to-buy numbers for the iPhone 5. With demand for the iPhone 5 so high and interest in Samsung growing, should the iPhone 5 indeed be released on September 21 or thereabouts, it may be a tough fourth quarter for HTC, Motorola, Nokia, and – of course – RIM. ®

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