No iPhone 5 at WWDC? We Doubt It. Here’s Why.

No iPhone 5 at WWDC? We Doubt It. Here’s Why.

The blogoshpere is buzzing with rumors upon rumors today that the iPhone 5 will indeed not be released at WWDC this June, and instead the keynote will ONLY focus on iOS 5 and OS X Lion. While the rumors are coming from big names, here is why we think they’re false.

Among the notable sources claiming a software-only WWDC this year are John Biggs of CrunchGear, Jason Snell of MacWorld, The Loop’s Jim Dalrymple, and AllThingsD’s John Paczowski. Their claims seem to mainly mention the lack of hardware mentions in the WWDC literature, the fact that the iPhone 4 is still a big best seller, that there isn’t necessarily a need for a yearly iPhone 4 launch cycle, and hearsay. We will categorically address each of these.

1. WWDC Literature Is Software-Centric, Makes No Mention of Hardware

While it is true that none of the information available regarding WWDC mentions any new hardware, it’s important to note that this has always been the case – Apple rarely if ever makes mention of hardware before it is released, hence this is a moot point.

2. iPhone 4 is Still a Best-Selling Phone

Of course it is, just like the iPhone 3GS continued to sell well leading to the release of the iPhone 4, and the iPhone 3G continued to sell well leading to the release of the 3GS, and so forth ad nauseum. This argument fails to be compelling in any way, and introduces no new information or reasoning at all.

3. There is No Need to Continue A Yearly Product Cycle

There is also no need to update software, release new hardware, create new products, listen to customer feedback, pay attention to quality, or even hold WWDC – unless you count public image, community support, keeping with reasonable consumer expectations, remaining competitive, and giving consumers the best possible option when they’d normally be considering a new purchase count as reasons. Oh yeah, they do.

There is need to keep with a yearly product cycle – that need is manifest continually with the ever-improving hardware and software of competing platforms (even if they cannot truly produce a similarly compelling product), the fact that consumers will be expecting a release (and possibly looking to renew cell phone contracts), and preparing to purchase a new device, and so forth. It would be possible for Apple to break this cycle – but at this point in time, it would be unwise, and we sincerely doubt that it will happen.

4. People Are “Hearing” That WWDC Will Be Software-Only

Interesting. No real evidence is provided for this claim, and in fact no compelling information at all. I heard that the iPad 2 might be fashioned from unicorn bones.

And a 5th that I have just observed: An Asian supplier says iPhone 5 hasn’t yet seen part orders.

If I had a dollar for every time an alleged “insider” provided “new information” relating to an Apple release, I’d be extremely wealthy. Hell – if I just got a dollar every time such a claim was wrong (and they often are – they are, after all, rumors), I wouldn’t be doing badly at all.


None of the claims I have seen being made by the iPhone 5 summer release media naysayers seem to hold much significant credibility at all, and thus, we will continue to project an iPhone 5 release this summer. We’d not only be surprised if Apple didn’t meet this schedule, but also extremely disappointed, along with millions of consumers worldwide. Apple has gone out of its way over the course of the past four years to establish customer expectations of a yearly hardware refresh.

To quote GigaOM’s Darrell Etherington:

To frustrate those expectations now (specifically with a delay, since an early release would be a different story altogether) would be a serious mistake, and not the kind Apple’s marketing machine is likely to make.

Do you agree? Disagree? Did I miss something? Sound off in the comments!