Anticipation for Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference, June 11-15, is starting to ramp up, and so is talk of a possible iPhone announcement at the annual event.
The Silicon Valley computer giant focused on software rather than hardware at last year's WWDC, and has promised more of the same this year; most analysts expect we'll get some info on iOS 6 coming out of the conference, slated for San Francisco's Moscone Center.
But Apple has always been mum about new hardware announcements, and speculation is once again growing that WWDC will feature an iPhone-related announcement, much as it has in the past. Last year was an exception ? the company didn't unveil the iPhone 4S until the fall, a couple of weeks before it went on sale in October. Of course, the company was a little preoccupied earlier in the year, releasing a version of the device compatible with Verizon's network for the first time. And the iPhone made its Sprint debut later in the year as well.
Many analysts and other industry-watchers have taken Apple's comments about a software-focused WWDC at face value, but some this year, including Asian financial services firm Daiwa Securities, have predicted that the company will indeed make news with an iPhone release date at the event. Other reports from manufacturing lines in Asia have backed that up.
That being said, the prevailing opinion is for a fall launch, roughly one year after the debut of the iPhone 4S. Click here for a roundup of all the latest rumors surrounding the device. The latest speculation is that Apple has applied for a patent for what will be dubbed the "iPen," a stylus that would accompany the iPhone and iPad, Patently Apple reported.
Has Apple permanently shifted its iPhone hardware updates to the fall? Time will tell.