iPhone 5 Seemingly Ruled Out for June Launch

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Apple justĀ pre-announced the iCloud for next week’s Worldwide Developers Conference, but what the company didn’t say — specifically, that it’ll bring the iPhone 5 or other new hardware to the event — is just as important.

It’s unusual for Apple to tease news ahead of time, so I can only imagine that this press release was intended to temper expectations. The headline of Apple’s announcement says it all: “Apple to Unveil Next Generation Software at Keynote Address on Monday, June 6.” In other words, don’t get your hopes up for hardware.

For the last three years, Apple has used WWDC to announce new iPhones, but this year Apple seems likely to break tradition and hold off on its next smartphone until September at the earliest. That’s what the rumors have been saying, at least.

And at this point, a September iPhone launch makes sense. It’s closer to the holidays, when rival phone makers will be launching their own new Android phones and Windows Phones. It would also give Apple something else to talk about besides iPods and Apple TV, neither of which are as buzzworthy as the iPhone.

The next iPhone may not be a major revision anyway. We’ve seen the term “iPhone 4S” thrown around, as if to suggest spec boosts and minor cosmetic changes rather than a design overhaul and bold new features. At WWDC, expect Apple to argue that software is far more important as the company introduces iOS 5, Mac OS X Lion and the iCloud.