As Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers’ Conference (WWDC) is fast approaching, tech observers and websites are shrugging off earlier predictions that there won't be a new iPhone launch at the conference. Now they think iPhone 4S could be launched at the developers' conference.

The earlier consensus was that the new iPhone 5 could be launched in September, rather than at the conventional annual meet of Apple developers. There were numerous reports of images leaks, press notes and manufacturing leads factories to support this theory.

The latest buzz in the market is that Apple PR executives have been persuading British and Australian tech journalists to attend the WWDC. Why would Apple take pains to make journalists to attend in hordes if there were indeed no hardware launch?

Here's a sample of the new line of thinking:

A source tells us that Apple’s UK iPhone PR team is approaching journalists from major publications to fly out to the event in San Francisco next month. The obvious conclusion would be that Apple is announcing a new iPhone. Or rather, an updated model, says Electricpig.

Apple is Apple — they may always have a “one more thing” up their sleeve. And at least one of our sources still thinks that Apple will surprise with some new iPhone hardware, wrote Techchrunch. However, the report also says the conclusion could be stretched. But right now, we’re not buying it, it says, adding that there could indeed be big announcements, possibly pertaining to software, at the WWDC.

The site is more or less certain that there will be huge software announcements this year at the WWDC. This is about Apple’s entire software backbone. iOS and OS X are both about to receive massive upgrades at the same time. And both will likely be extensively previewed at WWDC.

That means this year's WWDC will still be a big ticket affair, with or without a new iPhone.

There have been numerous reports about the rumoured iPhone 5 features, but none could firmly establish when the device will be launched. That uncertainty seems to be feeding rumor mills.