Reports surfaced over the weekend that iOS 5, the upcoming iteration on Apple’s mobile operating system, might not actually be released in the summer as has been custom in years past. The first came in June 2007, when the original iPhone launched, and every successive release always coincided with another iPhone launch around the same time: iPhone 3G in July 2008, iPhone 3GS in June 2009 and iPhone 4 in June 2010.
Apple hasn’t said a word about iOS 5 yet, like they normally would have, which fits in nicely with rumors that consumers won’t see the mobile platform reworked in a major way until the fall.
Bizarrely, no one has ventured a real guess as to why Apple would change up their pattern.
Here’s mine: “Happy Birthday, iPod.”
Exhibit A: The original iPod launched on October 23, 2001, which means this fall will mark the tenth anniversary of the MP3 player that forever changed the way people listen to music.
Exhibit B: Everyone in the industry is all but certain that the impending launch of iPhone 5 and iOS 5 will coincide with Apple’s unveiling of a cloud-based iTunes service. Though cloud music startups are already bracing themselves for the big announcement, no one knows exactly what the company has planned. Monthly subscription plans like MOG and Rdio? Pay-per-song, like it is now, except you own purchases permanently in the cloud? Receive every song ever with every new iPhone? (We can dream.)
Either way, it’s well known that Apple has a big music announcement planned and just might perfectly coincide with the iPod’s decade anniversary.
While Apple didn’t really make too big a fuss about the fifth anniversary of the iPod, this is definitely a more pivotal moment for music on the Web. And how could Apple miss the promoting opportunities?
As someone who thinks about Apple’s brilliant market campaigns quite a bit, I can already see the billboards now. I’m thinking classic iPod silhouette billboards (remember those?) with a vintage twist, but instead of just dancing with white headphones, they’re blowing out candles too. Maybe the smoke from the candles represents iTunes in the cloud?
Okay, I could be getting a little bit ahead of myself. I guess we’ll have to wait for WWDC in early June to publish something more than a hunch. Stay posted.