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iPhone 5 release date pushed back to fall 2011: report

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(Read caption) iPhone 5 handsets look likely to hit shelves in September. Here, a user holds an Apple iPhone 4.

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The iPhone 5 is coming, but probably not until this fall. That is the word today from the good folks over at MacRumors, who have been pretty dang good at picking up on Apple gossip before it hits the rest of the blogosphere. According to writer Eric Slivka, an AT&T customer care representative – anonymous, as these folks usually are – has revealed to MacRumors that Apple has no major iPhone launch scheduled for June or July.

As Slivka notes, this is something of a change to the regular Apple schedule. Apple devices are usually refreshed every year; the iPhone 4 was released in June of 2010, which means that the iPhone 5 should be released around June of 2011. So what accounts for the delay? Well, on the one hand, Apple recently released the long-awaited – and much delayed – white iPhone 4.

That doesn't exactly count for a full product refresh, but it was enough to stir up a good deal of attention, and after all, press attention is half of what Apple is gunning for with the unveiling of a new device. On the other hand, it's also possible that Apple is using the extra time to add a range of new features to the iPhone 5. (Or even a whole new shell! Teardrop-shaped iPhone 5 handsets, anyone?)

Over at CNET, Josh Lowensohn mulls over the possibility that Apple could soon be partnering with Nuance, a company which does a lot with voice recognition software. Several Apple devices utilize speech recognition or voice control, Lowensohn notes, "but over the years the feature set has remained unchanged. By comparison, competitor Google has built voice-powered Web search, application launching, and transcription tools into its Android OS."

Maybe the new iPhone will get all sorts of cool voice-controlled apps? We'll let you know more when we know it. In the meantime, for more tech news, sign up for the free Innovation newsletter, which is emailed out every Wednesday morning.


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