For the last four years, Apple has released a new version of the iPhone in June or July. And for the last three years, Apple has unveiled the phone at its Wordwide Developers Conference (WWDC), held sometime in June each year.
Earlier today, Apple announced the
dates for the next WWDC. The announcement was unusual though. Apple’s SVP of marketing didn’t say anything about new hardware; in fact, it was all about software. “At this year’s conference we are going to unveil the future of iOS and Mac OS,” he said in the company’s press release, making it sound as if a new iPhone wasn’t high on the company’s agenda for WWDC.
The Loop chimed in, claiming it has heard that WWDC will be “a software show in 2011, not a hardware event.” Adding fuel to the fire is a new report that claims Apple has yet to order components for the iPhone 5. Apple typically orders the parts for its phones six months in advance, so if this rumor is true, then Apple won’t have enough time to assemble enough iPhones for a June or July 2011 release, even if it started ordering parts tomorrow.
Instead, Apple may wait until September or October to release the iPhone 5, after its 2012 fiscal year begins. Apple’s current fiscal year ends on September 24. The upcoming smartphone is rumored to include a a bigger screen and better cameras and could feature NFC chip technology and a metal back.
The reason Apple may be waiting to launch the iPhone 5 could be the Verizon iPhone 4, which it announced in January and launched in February. The CDMA-version of the iPhone has given Apple more than 100 million potential customers, so the company could be avoiding a scenario where it shoots itself in the foot by releasing a new iPhone too early.
By delaying the iPhone 5′s launch, Apple can focus on acquiring new CDMA customers. A delayed release would also give Mas OS X Lion a more prominent role at this year’s WWDC.