Nick Bilton at The New York Times has made some progress burrowing under the walls of Apple's top secret iPhone lab. Bilton reports on the timing of the iPhone 5 release, emphasis ours:
We're just weeks away from the announcement of the new Apple iPhone 5, according to an Apple employee who asked not to be named because he was not allowed to speak publicly for the company. …
The new iPhone will come with an eight-megapixel camera, this person said, an upgrade from the five-megapixel camera in the iPhone 4. Earlier this year Howard Stringer, Sony’s chief executive, let it slip that the next iPhone would be updated with an eight-megapixel camera made by Sony. The Apple engineer also said the new phone would have a faster A5 dual-core processor.
Bilton also addressed the curious set of photos posted Thursday on Case-Mate's website: "From descriptions I've heard of the new iPhone from Apple employees, the images seemed potentially authentic."
We're usually deeply skeptical of iPhone rumors. As we pointed out in our coverage of the leaked case photos, even accessory makers are kept in the dark about the specifications of new Apple products. Fanboy blogs like MacRumors, Apple Insider and Boy Genuis Reports do publish a lot of tips--sometimes we'll read four or five incremental updates about the iPhone release over the course of a single day. These updates tend to be sourced to people familiar with the matter, to obscure trade publications near manufacturing centers in China, or even self-appointed Apple experts with strong opinions about what the company is doing. However, the fact that Bilton's source is an Apple employee, who's addressing fresh rumors, caught our attention. We're starting to believe that the iPhone obscured by the Case-Mate shells above is the real deal.