Yesterday, reports surfaced that iOS 7 may be delayed due to an extensive redesign from Jony Ive. However, today brings word that iOS 7 will ship on time.
Bloomberg on Wednesday reported that unnamed sources close to the iOS development team said that iOS 7 may be delayed due to the complete overhaul of the interface and core apps. These sources claimed that internal deadlines for submitting features to be tested have been set later than past releases. Thus, Apple is pushing to compile enough of the system to preview at WWDC in June, and then will possibly release the platform in September already installed on the new models of iOS devices. However, AllThingsD cites its own unnamed sources that say Apple is 'mustering additional engineering resources' to get iOS 7 finished in time for a preview at its WWDC.
These sources compared the scenario to Apple pulling OS X 10.5 engineers to work on the original iPhone and said engineers from OS X 10.9 have been borrowed from the OS X division and are working on iOS 7. These sources added: "It will ship on time."
Of course, 'on time' doesn't mean much when we don't have a release date for iOS 7 to begin with. Looking back on iOS 6, that was previewed in June and launched in September. Similarly, iOS 5 was previewed at WWDC in June and not released until October. Both times, the new version of iOS was released alongside the new iteration of iPhone. There has been talk of Apple returning to its old summer-update cycle for the iPhone. If that's the case, and the iPhone 5S/6 is announced in June and released in July, then we can expect to see iOS 7 released this summer as well. However, if there's no iPhone, then iOS 7 will likely not be released until we see some new hardware.
Given the talk of Apple pulling engineers from OS X to work on iOS, we think it's pretty likely the release date is set for summertime. And, when you consider the fact that iOS 6 was only released last September, it's not surprising that the iOS team is pushed for time -- it's only been eight months since iOS 6 went out the door.