The fact that Apple did not launch the iPhone 5 during WWDC as it did in previous years, shows that the company is now taking the competition more seriously than in the past.
And because rivals, like the Samsung Galaxy S2 or the HTC Sensation, are set to be just as good as the Apple iPhone 5, Apple has decided to focus its resources on software and services, hence the new features found in iOS 5 and the launch of iCloud at WWDC.
By providing a compelling and tightly integrated array of features, Apple knows that it can distance itself from the competition once again; Microsoft, Google and Amazon have the basic ingredients to build something similar to the iCloud but their service offers are still far too disjointed compared to what Apple is promising. The issue is that it takes time to build the infrastructure to support the iCloud.
Announcing the iPhone 5 now would be the sporting equivalent of showcasing a horse for a race without knowing who the jockey will be; Apple needs both the hardware and the software to be ready.
How far away is the iPhone 5 then? The next big product launch is scheduled for September but we've noticed that some mobile phone operators - like Vodafone - have been offering the iPhone 4 on better rates, either to entice customers away from other handsets or, maybe perhaps to clear out existing stocks.