5. More time to make changes
Apple knows the value of time. And it understands that the longer it waits to launch a device, the more time it can spend perfecting the design or fixing problems that inevitably crop up. More importantly, it can spend more time waiting for the latest and greatest components to launch, so it can bundle neat new features into the device.
6. It won't be evolutionary
If the iPhone 5 was designed to be an evolutionary upgrade like the iPhone 4S, it would make sense for the device to launch over the summer. But Apple historically has not offered two evolutionary devices in a row. Therefore, we can expect the iPhone 5 to be a revolutionary upgrade. And as history has proved, revolutionary upgrades take time to launch.
7. Leave summer to MacBooks
Apple has yet to launch the long-rumored updates to its MacBook Air and MacBook Pro line. Most rumors suggest that the updates could come at some point in the next few months, potentially putting them at odds with the iPhone 5. Today's consumers have a finite amount of cash that they can spend. The last thing Apple wants to do is force customers to choose between MacBooks and its iPhone.
8. Where will Mountain Lion fit?
Apple is also expected to launch Mountain Lion this year. Though it's not clear exactly when that launch might happen, Apple has said that it will come down this summer. As with MacBooks, does Apple want to overshadow a key operating system launch with its iPhone 5? It better not.
9. Consider Foxconn changes
Apple earlier this year brought in the Fair Labor Association to audit working conditions in its Foxconn supplier facilities across China. Since the audit results were publicized, Foxconn has decided to reduce work hours, causing a temporary issue with productivity. It's not clear how long those productivity issues will continue, but Apple might hold the iPhone 5 launch back because of it.
10. Carrier considerations
Finally, it's important to not discount the impact carriers can have on the iPhone's launch. AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and the many international carriers might prefer that Apple wait until later this year so they too can capitalize on holiday sales. In any event, the carriers will likely have something to say about whether or not they really wantApple to launch its iPhone 5 over the summer.