iPhone 5 launch window confirmed at SA event

Summary: Apple board member and former Vice President of the United States Al Gore let slip at an event in South Africa that the new iPhones (note plural) will be coming out next month (October 2011).

News of former US Vice President Al Gore’s speech to an audience at the Discovery Invest Leadership Summit held in South Africa propagated in the international press at the speed of type on Wednesday (21 September 2011).

This was not because of a startling new revelation about climate change or green technology, but because Gore mentioned that new iPhones would be coming out next month.

Among the rest of their tweets from the event, technology journalists Simon Dingle and Toby Shapshak published the following on Twitter:

Al Gore iPhone 5 - Simon Dingle
Al Gore iPhone 5 - Simon Dingle
Al Gore iPhone 5 - Toby Shapshak
Al Gore iPhone 5 - Toby Shapshak

From here it spread like a wildfire, with various reports quoting Shapshak, editor of Stuff Magazine in South Africa, who recounted Gore’s exact words.

According to a report by the Associated Press, Shapshak said he recorded the presentation on his iPhone.

Shapshak told MyBroadband that Gore was speaking about photovoltaic cells for solar energy and referred to Moore’s Law and how transistors have multiplied when he let slip the line: “Not to mention the new iPhones coming out next month.”

He quickly added: “That was a plug.”

According to Shapshak, Gore had been speaking passionately about global warming to a large audience, many of whom might not have known that he is an Apple board member.

Some publications have taken Gore’s use of the plural “iPhones” to indicate that the rumours that Apple will be announcing more than one new model of iPhone at their next big event had been confirmed. Others pointed out that even a single model of iPhone will result in many “iPhones coming out next month.”

Gore’s statements came after a report from AllThingsD citing “sources close to the situation” as saying that Apple is expected to host its next big media event on 4 October 2011 where it will showcase the iPhone 5.

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iPhone 5 launch window confirmed at SA event