The latest rumor on the iPhone 5 release date is that Apple's fancied next-generation iPhone will not probably be launched on Sept. 7.

And it looks like it's a logical guess.First, there is no point in releasing iPhone 5 without loading it with the iOS 5 as competition in the smartphone arena is really hotting up with several Android phones ready to roll out daunting features. A new iPhone version in September, which does not have commanding new features promised by iOS 5, will be a lame duck.

And iOs 5 is not ready to roll out until fall, according to Apple's own clear statement at the WWDC this month. Fall sets in, in the third week of September and it refers to a time frame until November end. If Apple gets iOS 5 ready later in the fall, then iPhone 5 will have to take the lag as well.

As it is, this 'next generation' iPhone is not a full fat update of the existing model. There will only be minor hardware updates like a better processor and an improved camera. The design and form factors of the device will remain the same too. It is expected that a real updated version of the iPhone will come some time in 2012.

This fact had indeed set in motion the talk about 'iPhone 4 S'. The theory was that what Apple will launch in 2011 will be a minor update, like the iPhone 3GS that was launched in the interval between iPhone 3G and the iPhone 4.

There is still a feeble line of argument suggesting that the next iPhone version will still be called iPhone 4 S, though fewer observers believe so now.

Anyway, Apple cannot afford to launch a revamped iPhone in early September, without having the iOS 5 loaded on it. If Apple does really have to launch iPhone 5 in early September, it will have to use the existing version of iOS, which will soon become redundant as Apple releases the iOS 5 in the fall, as promised. This will be suicidal, as the device will fall out of favor immediately and Apple will probably sit on a big redundant stockpile.

The emerging situation in the smartphone segment is indeed tricky for Apple. The competition has gotten a lot tougher for Apple. For example, the arrival of Google’s Nexus 4G would all but annihilate Apple if it still decided to go ahead with iPhone 4. And there is the whole lot of purported iPhone killers like Droid Bionic, Photon 4G and Samsung Galaxy S 2.

Is Apple uncharacteristically displaying its feet of clay? On the one hand, Apple must have to roll out at least an incrementally new iPhone. Because, iPhone adherents will seethe with anger if their phone doesn’t tally up to the competitions' range of Android OS-based phones as early as possible. Apple must have found it difficult to contend with the allegation that most of the rumored iPhone 5 features are already on Android OS-based devices. So why not at least give a chance to iPhone enthusiasts to get on an even keel with the Android phones by moving to the upgraded iPhone 5?

On the other hand, until Apple unleashes something more radical and revolutionary than the projected iOS 5, coupled with a totally made over iPhone model, it wouldn’t have dealt the sucker punch to the growing army of Android OS-bases devices. That's what iPhone fans badly want too.

The reality is that for a radical new iPhone, it's a wait until 2012 while a Fall release of a new iPhone version loaded with iOS 5 can play catch up with the competition.