Rumors have it coming any time between late June and early 2012. Does it matter? Um, yes.
In early spring the folks who obsess about Apple (AAPL) are usually busy speculating about what features to expect in the next iteration of the iPhone -- a game neatly summarized in an infographic produced by the French site Nowhere Else, from which the image at right was taken.
But this year, reports that there will be no iPhone 5 announced at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference in June has launched a whole new level of speculation, not about what Apple is building, but when it will arrive.
In notes issued to clients Tuesday, Susquehanna's Jeff Fidacaro said his checks "confirm" a delay until fall, Merrill Lynch's Scott Craig pronounced the delay "not likely," and Ticonderoga's Brian White advised investors not to get "hung up" on the exact date. Any sales Apple misses in one quarter, White says, are likely to get picked up the next.
Perhaps. But with a pack of Google (GOOG) Android phones breathing down its neck, Apple can't wait forever.
With that in mind, we've put together an annotated timeline of the iPhone 5 launch rumors. See below the fold.
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