iOS 5 falls back to autumn, say moles
Sensational September iStuff revamp? Yes please
Don't expect iOS 5.0 to be available to download as early as June - it'll be out in September.
So say two "solid sources" cited by TechCrunch, though neither appears to say why Apple will stop using a timetable that has served it well for many a year.
Certainly, the company didn't say anything about the next major release of the iPhone and iPad operating system when it took the wraps off the iPad 2.
In the past, it has made some sort of broad iOS announcement in Q1/Q2, following it up with more detail in June at its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), just ahead of the OS' release.
That hasn't happened so far this year, though there's still talk of an April event at which such matters as the anticipated related MobileMe revamp and iOS 5 will be discussed.
That said, Apple formally announced iOS 4.0 at 8 April 2010 event, so there's still time to follow the pattern.
TechCrunch's moles describe iOS 5 as a major revamp - you'd expect that with an integer upgrade - and will feature much greater cloud integration, specifically to allow you to keep an internet-accessible archive of media content you've bought from iTunes, and to locate fellow iDevice users you like.
Not much to go on, those titbits, and nothing to indicate the need to push back iOS 5's arrival so far from the example set by past timetables.
Will be iPhone 5 be likewise delayed if iOS 5 is put back? Some past speculation separately suggested that it would, but the alternative is to release it in June - again, following the timetable set in previous years - but with iOS 4.4 or 4.5.
But if Apple has torn up one timetable, why not the other too?
It has certainly been suggested that Apple will shift all the iOS announcements to September, the time it has traditionally unveiled new iPods, pulling together operating system, iPhone and iPad revisions and launches.
The iPod line is not a long-term growth market for Apple - no MP3 player is, for anyone - inevitably the iPad and iPhone will dominate its Christmas sales drive, and that implies - though it doesn't mandate - a launch later in the year.
A September iPhone 5 introduction would be less likely to annoy recent Verizon iPhone 4 purchasers too, and give Apple time to integrate the announcement and release of new software for GSM and CDMA iPhones.
And don't forget the talk, not so long ago, about a September iPad 3 launch. We still hope to see it arrive with a "Retina Display" driven by a quad-core ARM chip of the kind Nvidia has roadmapped to arrive in August.
Now that would be a reason to shift everything back to September. ®
4G is likely to form a key part of any future iHardware announcement. Not that it will help us. We're not going to get 4G until 2013 at the earliest, chiz.