No iPhone 5 at WWDC. That's good news.

On April 14, 2011

@BenHarvell is a freelance writer and former editor of iCreate magazine. He writes for a wide range of international technology magazines and websites including Macworld, MacFormat and MacLife. He’s on Twitter and blogs at and is currently enjoying the latest social network, Tout.

It now seems clear that we wont be seeing an iPhone 5 at WWDC or any time before it. Great, let’s keep the focus on developing software not launching devices.

Whether the iPhone 5 has been hit by the predicted component delays or Apple is waiting to get rid of white iPhone 4 units before announcing a brand new product, having a completely focussed conference that wont raise questions on whether XYZ app will work with XYZ iPhone 5 feature should be a good thing.

It always struck me as strange that Apple announced new devices at WWDC. Sure, it has a nice captive audience that paid for the privilege of being there but for a conference about learning, sharing and receiving feedback, the fanfare of a new iPhone distracts from that.

It’s also good news for consumers and developers. If we’re not expecting the iPhone 5 until perhaps as late as September, it could mean that some significant new features are coming, requiring a longer lead time for developers to get apps ready.

This year looks set to be focussed solely on Mac OS and iOS and, if what I’ve seen of Lion remains the same until GM, there’ll be a lot of convergence talk between developers on either side of the mobile/desktop divide. It wouldn’t surprise me if launches were kept away from WWDC from now on.

If the above turns out to be true, it’s good to see Apple putting the developers first, be it a conscious decision or a forced hand. More face time (in real terms, not video conferencing!) with the guys that make the platform what it is and less grandstanding for the masses. That’s what WWDC should be all about.