If you aren't convinced yet—and really, you should be—The Wall Street Journal has added its journalistic weight behind the "Apple's gonna ship two new iPhones in September" narrative. Citing unspecific sources, the newspaper said that Apple's suppliers have been asked to ship both a high-end iPhone and a new low-cost iPhone model in September, a first for Apple.
The more Apple-centric rumor sources have been pushing leaked images of an iPhone 5S and a plastic-backed, multiple color iPhone 5C for months. The newest leaks have focused on many images of a gold-anodized iPhone 5S that some have described as being "champagne" colored.
What's new about The Journal's story is that the leak is coming from within Hon Hai Precision Industry, which is better known by the trade name Foxconn, Apple's main manufacturing partner. Rather than being based on leaked component pictures, this story is about what Apple has ordered from Foxconn, and that's a first for this news cycle.
The article demurs on when Apple will announce the products, saying only that it will be, "as soon as next month," but does note that suppliers began mass-producing components for both lines in June.
The pussyfooting around on the release date is a tad silly. Last week, the story broke that Apple would host a media event on September 10th, and that story was confirmed by The Loop's Jim Dalrymple and AllThingsD's Ina Fried. Considering that AllThingsD and The Wall Street Journal are both owned by News Corp., the hedging seems pointless.
Nevertheless, the article mentioned that Ming-Chi Kuo, an analyst for KGI Securities in Taiwan, is estimating that Apple will ship 5.2 million of the as-yet-unannounced iPhone 5S in the September quarter, plus another 8.5 million units of the iPhone 5C.
The analyst pegged total third quarter iPhone shipments at 35 million, counting legacy devices already for sale. If Apple were to hit those numbers, it would represent another record quarter and a 30 percent increase year over year.
That would be impressive, but it would mean that Apple would continue to lose smartphone market share as sales of cheap Android devices acting as feature phones skyrocket. That isn't likely to matter to Apple if its share of the profitable end of the market increases, something I suspect will be the case.