In a research note, Analyst Brian White with Ticonderoga Securities suggests Apple is being extra secretive with its Asian suppliers when ordering parts for the iPhone 5 and is still quietly preparing the next generation handset for a June or July launch. White writes, "Although we do not have a smoking gun that definitively rules out a delayed autumn unveiling or one that supports a launch this summer, there is a pattern of activity in motion with the supply chain that makes us question a delayed launch."Circulating rumors suggest Apple may release the iPhone 5 in the fall instead of the summer as it has done in the past. Analysts making this prediction have pointed to a lack of component orders for the iPhone which should have been made if the Cupertino company was targeting a June launch. Other rumors point to a significant overhaul of iOS which may include a cloud-based file locker and music streaming service that could debut this fall along with new iPhone and iPod touch hardware.
White also confirms other reports that suggest Apple is using its cash reserve to secure components for its iPad 2, iPhone and iPod touch. Apple is reportedly offering upfront cash payments to suppliers to keep its production line flowing while blocking out competitors that are not as cash-rich as Apple.