Apple's iOS 7 Final Beta And Gold Master Are Ready For Launch (AAPL)
Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) is only days away from releasing the final beta version of iOS 7.
Starting sometime next week, app developers can download the sixth (and nearly finished) version of the new operating system.
According to a BGR exclusive, the software could become available as soon as Monday.
Apple partners and employees can get their hands on the gold master version of iOS 7 during the first week of September. On September 10 -- the day Apple is expected to unveil the next-generation iPhone -- the gold master edition should become available to developers.
While it is not uncommon for an OS developer to test out new software before releasing it to the general public, the imminent beta and GM iterations suggest that the iPhone 5S (or whatever it may be called) is very close to release.
Apple will not release the iPhone 5S without a final version of iOS 7. Similarly, it will not allow iPhone 5 users to download the new OS until the iPhone 5S is ready to ship.
Global Equities Research analyst Trip Chowdhry has not seen the new iPhone yet, but he is already convinced that it will set a new record as Apple's most successful product launch.
That would be an impressive achievement, especially after Wall Street feared the worst and expected disappointing iPhone sales during the June quarter. Apple proved them wrong after selling 31.2 million iPhones, a 20 percent increase over the year-ago period.
Until the day comes when Apple can produce a more popular product, the iPhone will continue to be the company's most important device.
Over the last few years, the iPhone has become the most profitable item released by the Cupertino, California-based tech giant. With average quarterly sales falling within the 30 million unit range, the iPhone can sell more units in three months than the entire Mac lineup can sell in a year.
Not even the iPad, which sold well during the December and March quarters, can compete with the iPhone. During the June quarter, iPad sales fell 25 percent to 14.6 million units.
Disclosure: At the time of this writing, Louis Bedigian had no position in the equities mentioned in this report.
Louis Bedigian is the Senior Tech Analyst and Features Writer of Benzinga. You can reach him at 248-636-1322 or louis(at)benzingapro(dot)com. Follow him @LouisBedigianBZ
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