There are a couple ways you could look at the announcement of the iPhone 4S, with regards to the lack of an iPhone 5 announcement.
One way would be that this is the iPhone 5. It just has a different name. Another way would be that the iPhone 5 could still be on the way.
Many news outlets and blogs have reported on iPhone 5 rumors for a long time now. Some were related to what Apple would announce on this past Tuesday, and some were about an as of yet unannounced product. Gawker has a post up looking at a handful of articles from various publications in the tech press indicating “how everyone got it wrong”.
Sure, some were flat out wrong, but other rumors may just not be realized yet.
For example, the first example in the Gawker piece points to the launch of a Facebook iPad app at the Apple event. This didn’t happen, but the app is still expected to be unveiled soon. Timing, yes, dead wrong. It also wasn’t the “iPhone 5” event, as indicated in the article in question. It turned out to be the “iPhone 4S and iPod Nano update” event.
The list of stories about iPhone 5 rumors on the web is a whole lot bigger than the sampling offered by this Gawker article. We’ve certainly published our fair share, but have always been careful to note when a story is a rumor. People like to read about rumors, and get and idea of what to expect. Still, rumors are rumors, and they should always be taken with some amount of salt.
All of that said, the unveiling of the 4S has done absolutely nothing to halt the iPhone 5 rumor mill. For example, they’re already talking about the release being delayed until Apple can implement LTE, as late as late 2012 or even 2013. But it’s a rumor. It’s entirely possible that Apple will never launch a phone called the “iPhone 5”.
It’s a pretty safe bet that “iPhone 5” will continue to be used as the name for Apple phones in rumor pieces about the next such offering from Apple until either Apple says flat out that there will be no iPhone 5 or it becomes clear in some other fashion.
In the meantime, the responsible reporters and bloggers talking about this stuff will call a rumor a rumor until it becomes fact.