Verizon’s finance chief says the next iPhone could drop in the fourth quarter

Verizon’s finance chief Fran Shammo dropped a hint concerning the next iPhone’s availability during today’s earnings call. Discussing the company’s second-quarter results that saw Verizon activate 2.7 million iPhones for a 45 share of all smartphones sold on their network, Shammo hinted that the iPhone 5 (or whatever you prefer to call it) will arrive during the fourth quarter of this year.

The comment puts to rest rumors that the next iPhone could land in September. Conveniently enough, the latest iOS 6 beta 3 is set to expire on September 30. Conversely, Shammo’s comment is also in line with Apple’s annual refresh cycle. As the iPhone 4S launched on October 4, 2011, an updated model shouldn’t arrive before October of this year at the earliest…

CNET‘s Roger Cheng gets the kudos for catching the comment during Shammo’s talk with analysts.

Apple’s next iteration of the iPhone could drop in the fourth quarter. That’s according to Verizon CFO Fran Shammo, who hinted at the possible timing during the company’s quarterly conference call today with a vague reference to a major phone the carrier expects to launch in the fourth quarter.

Nathan Ingraham, reporting for The Verge, offers an additional comment:

When asked what might have held customers back from upgrading their devices in Q2, Shammo said that “of course there’s always that, uh, rumor mill out there with a new phone coming out there in the fourth quarter, so people may be waiting”.

Analysts warned that swirling iPhone 5 rumors could hurt Apple’s June quarter sales, to be reported next Tuesday, July 24.

On Shammo’s comment: four days ago the accurate Japanese blog Macotakara reported the next iPhone had gone into the manufacturing phase and the credible Wall Street Journal claimed in a May story that June would see Apple start procurement of four-inch screens for the device.

However, yesterday the somewhat-less-reliable Boy Genius Report dispelled those rumors, saying that “the final version of Apple’s next iPhone — the one that you will buy — has not started production yet”.

BGR also confirmed previous rumors calling for an improved application processor sporting 1GB of RAM, up from 512MB of RAM on the iPhone 4S, in addition to integrated 4G LTE radios and NFC circuitry.

What do you think, is it going to be September or October?