Apple typically announces new versions of iOS, the software that powers the iPhone, iPod touch, iPad and iPad mini at their Worldwide Developers Conference in the middle of the year.
While Apple has not announced the WWDC 2013 event dates yet, an Apple developer told Gotta Be Mobile that many developers believe Apple could be scheduling the 2013 event for June 10-14th, based on openings in the Moscone Center calendar. This is the location Apple uses for the WWDC event, a location which Google will take over in mid-May for Google I/O, which is Google’s version of WWDC.
With WWDC tickets expected to sell out in record time, some Apple developers are counting on multiple notification services to send emails, texts and even phone calls when Apple page statuses change. All for a chance to spend $1,600 on a ticket.
For the past several years Apple announced new versions of iOS at WWDC, IOS 5 at WWDC 2011 and iOS 6 at WWDC 2012. These new versions of the operating system delivered a number fo new features to Apple devices, and the announcement at WWDC allowed developers to build in these new features and experiment with iOS betas for several months before the iPhone 4S and iPhone 5 launches.
The beta period for iOS software can be very short, for small releases, but Apple kept the iOS 5 release in beta for over 120 days and the iOS 6 release in beta for over 90 days before releasing it shortly before a new iPhone. Arguably these are two of the largest feature updates to iOS, and two of the longest betas.
If Apple plans to announce iOS 7 at WWDC 2013 on June 10th, at the keynote, this could push the iOS 7 release date out to mid-August, even with a short beta period. Assuming Apple plans to launch IOS 7 shortly before the iPhone 5S release, this would likely rule out an announcement of the iPhone 5S (Apple’s rumored next iPhone) on stage at WWDC).
There’s always a chance that Apple will speed up the iOS 7 release, and hit the rumored iPhone 5S June release. There is likely no need to deal with new screen sizes or major device feature changes for the iPhone 5S or even the rumored iPad 5. We don’t yet know what types of changes Apple is planning in iOS 7, so it’s possible it will roll out a shorter developer beta period, making IOS 7 a kind of ‘s’ software update.
Another possibility, if the rumors of a June iPhone 5S release hold water, is that Apple is planning to announce the iOS 7 beta to developers in April. Apple announced iOS 4 software in early April 2010, several months before the iPhone 4 announcement in June. The time is winding down for this option.
Essentially, Apple’s timing for the iOS 7 announcement and or the first iOS 7 beta will not only give us an idea of the iOS 7 release date, but also a hint at when the iPhone 5S release date could land.