2011: The Year Without a New iPhone?

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A new report says there won’t be an iPhone 5 – or any new Apple hardware for that matter – unveiled at this June’s Apple Worldwide Developers Conference, raising speculation that there won’t be an update to the iPhone this year at all.

Apple will focus on software rather than hardware at the 2011 WDC, where it usually introduces the latest update to the iPhone. That’s according to sources of website The Loop. Instead of iPhone chatter, developers will likely hear all about Mac OS Lion, the new Apple operating system that most expect to see shipped sometime this summer.

So just when will we see an update to the iPhone? Apple has already made big news on the hardware front by striking an agreement with Verizon Wireless to sell the iPhone 4 earlier this year, so the need for an update might not be so great. If there’s no iPhone 5 at WWDC, perhaps we’ll see one in September, about the time when Apple usually updates its iPods. But if Apple is no longer tying itself to when we expect to see new devices, there might not be a new iPhone this year at all. And if the company is waiting until it has something ready that’s 4G-compatible, many of us would be willing to be patient.

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