Apple schedules June conference, but iPhone hopes dim

Apple is promoting its developers' conference as "the week we've all been waiting for."

Story highlights

  • Apple announces June 11-15 dates for its annual developers conference
  • Some hope for an iPhone 5 at the event, but early signs suggest otherwise
  • Apple has sold 35.1 million units of the iPhone 4S in the past three months

It's a tantalizing bit of expectation building. Apple's invitation to its annual developers conference is tagged with this phrase: "It's the week we've all been waiting for."

But if it's that elusive iPhone 5 you'd like to see, you might need to keep waiting.

Apple announced Wednesday its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) will be held June 11-15 in San Francisco. Tickets to the event sold out in two hours.

The conference has been the launching point for two iPhones (the iPhone 3GS in 2009 and the iPhone 4 in 2010) and, as such, talk of the yearly gathering inevitably turns to phone dreams among the Apple faithful.

The line on the invitation doesn't do much to dissuade that hope. But keep reading, and you'll find that that's about it.

Like last year, when the new Mac operating system was front and center, this year's announcement focuses more on software (you know, the stuff developers actually work with) than teasing a new product.

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"We have a great WWDC planned this year and can't wait to share the latest news about iOS and OS X Mountain Lion with developers," said Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of marketing, in a written statement. "The iOS platform has created an entirely new industry with fantastic opportunities for developers across the country and around the world."

    Of course, if Apple plans a big surprise, they wouldn't admit it now.

    But other factors also make a new phone seem less likely.

    The iPhone 4S wasn't rolled out until October of last year. It would be out of character for Apple to announce another phone only eight months later.

    Also? If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

    Apple announced Tuesday that it sold 35.1 million iPhones during the first three months of this year, outpacing analysts' predictions. So, despite initial grumbling that, aside from a better camera and faster processor, the 4S wasn't much of an upgrade over its predecessor, the current model is obviously doing just fine.

    Some early pundits agree that given Apple's announcements over the past 24 hours, we're unlikely to see a new iPhone in June.

    "Based on tempered expectations for the current quarter ... it's unlikely the company would plan for an iPhone release this summer and will almost certainly shoot for a fall release," wrote Sean Ludwig in VentureBeat. "Instead, we expect WWDC to be a lot like last year, where software is in the spotlight."