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Rumor: Apple may not release cloud-based iOS 5 until this fall

According to a new rumor, Apple plans to release iOS 5, the next major update to its mobile operating system, at a later-than-usual date, arriving this fall with long-rumored cloud-based features for online storage of music, photos and video.

According to sources that spoke with TechCrunch, Apple allegedly will not unveil the latest version of iOS this spring, a timeframe it has followed in the past to preview its mobile operating system update to developers. Instead, Apple is said to be hard at work on a "major revamp" of the platform that will arrive this fall.

Apple could decide to preview the next version of iOS at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference, likely to be held in June. Author MG Siegler said he has heard nothing about the iPhone 5, which is typically released at WWDC, but speculated that Apple could release its next-generation handset running a version of iOS 4 rather than a new release.

The report also said that iOS 5 would arrive alongside a rumored iPad 3, a rumored expansion to the iPad product line. That would run counter to speculation that stemmed from Apple declaring 2011 the "Year of the iPad 2," potentially suggesting that no upgrades are planned.

Apple's iOS 5 upgrade is rumored to have major integration with cloud-based services. This would include a digital "locker" to hold users' music, a service that would allegedly also launch this fall at Apple's annual music-themed event.

But the report claimed that Apple will preview much of its future cloud-based offerings at this summer's WWDC. One of those features is said to be a location-based service for finding out where friends are, something that was hinted at in a beta build of iOS 4.3.

The latest report runs counter to a separate rumor from earlier this month, which claimed that Apple plans to introduce iOS 5 at a media event to be held in early April. That would be the same timeframe as last year's event for the iOS 4 developer preview.