If you can hold your breath for three months, start doing so now: Bloomberg says that Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL ) will introduce the iPhone 5 in September.
Estimates of the new iPhone's arrival are a dime a dozen, but Bloomberg has a history of nailing its Apple leaks, despite relying on anonymous sources. For example, Bloomberg correctly called the appearance of the mythical white iPhone 4 a few weeks early, and pegged the Verizon (NYSE: VZ ) iPhone's debut within a margin of a couple of weeks -- six months in advance. So when Bloomie drops Apple nuggets, geeks and investors alike have reason to listen.
The iPhone 5 is expected to look a lot like the iPhone 4, says Bloomberg's sources. The Apple-designed central processor will be faster, of course, while the camera gains detail. You'd expect no less from a next-generation smartphone, after all.
The report doesn't talk about shifting component suppliers, whether by omission or a genuine lack of news. Apple isn't in the habit of kicking out reliable suppliers on a whim, so I suppose it's safe to assume that Cirrus Logic (Nasdaq: CRUS ) will continue to make a mint on iPhone-related audio chips, while OmniVision Technologies (Nasdaq: OVTI ) should remain the camera sensor guru of choice.
There's also no word on whether Apple will produce one Verizon-compatible model and one that works on the AT&T (NYSE: T ) network standard, or simplify down to a single, dual-mode model. High-speed LTE standards are not mentioned, but it's a safe bet that Apple would rather wait until the networks fill out their 4G coverage maps. Near-field communications, or NFC, functionality might also have to wait until 2012, which would delay the rising fortunes of NFC specialist NXP Semiconductors (Nasdaq: NXPI ) .
So Bloomberg leaves unanswered most of the questions we really wanted to explore. Still, a September launch date with a vague outline of the device is better than nothing at all. Oxygen is overrated anyway.
To ensure you don't miss a beat in the iPhone saga, make judicious use of our Foolish watchlist feature. Just click here to seed your watchlist with a whole basket of supposed iPhone 5 participants, and you'll be good to go.