Build and Analyze

Apple's revamped hardware schedule

March 31, 2011: 7:12 AM ET

Has the iPhone replaced the iPod as the headliner for the company's fall product preview?

Steve Jobs at the Sept. 2010 special event. Image: Apple Inc.

Many Apple (AAPL) watchers are finding it hard to believe that summer might come and go without a new iPhone, as some are reporting.

But to Marco Arment, the rumors make a lot of sense.

In a Thursday blog post entitled "Apple's boring hardware updates," the creator of Instapaper and co-host of Build and Analyze argues that refinements in iOS hardware are reaching a point of diminishing returns, where minor updates -- like a new color or a new chip -- can be handled with a simple press release.

"Like the MacBook Pro," he writes, "Apple has refined the iPhone and iPad designs almost to the point that it's difficult to think of how they'd meaningfully improve them without major underlying changes (such as a breakthrough in storage or battery technology)."

Besides, he writes, waiting until fall to unveil the iPhone 5 "explains a lot about some recent inconveniences that we've mostly been ignoring because they didn't fit into our expected Apple-view."

Specifically:

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