In these uncertain times one of the few things we were reasonably certain about is that there Apple will release a new iPhone and a new version of iOS every summer. This has been true since 2007 when the first iPhone was released.
But, I heard something I dismissed as an oddball story shortly after the CMDA iPhone 4 was announced by Verizon in January. An acquaintance of mine who planned to by a Verizon iPhone told me that he had heard from a good source that this (the CDMA Verizon iPhone) would be “the new” iPhone for 2011. There would not be an iPhone 5 released in 2011.
In the past couple of weeks a number of reports have speculated that Apple will push the usual summer iPhone launch to September. This would actually solve a couple of issues for Apple without missing a 2011 refresh cycle. However, Business Insider reports that there is a possibility that the iPhone 5 may not be available until early 2012.
If this is the case, what I thought of as a fanciful misinformed story was actually a solid tip. If Apple skips 2011 as an iPhone refresh year, it will make life easier for AT&T and Verizon. However, it may provide Apple with a big problem in 2012 as Android continues to build on its marketshare lead and even provide Microsoft-Nokia and other major mobile platform vendors a chance to catch up.