Everyone's jockeying for position ahead -- and beyond -- tonight's quarterly report, but life goes on at Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL).

The past few weeks have been rich with chatter of iPhone 5 delays. After checking with component suppliers, some reports indicated that Apple's next smartphone won't be in production until September -- a move that would push the iPhone 5's release into the holiday quarter if not early next year.

The freshest Reuters report offers more encouraging news, though you may want to give up your spot in line in front of your local Apple store.

Unlike the annual iPhone updates that have historically taken place in June or July, sources are telling Reuters that the Cupertino giant's next smartphone will go into production by mid-summer and begin shipping out in September.

In other words, the iPhone 5 will be late but not as late as some initially feared.

For a company that loves to refresh its product line annually, something has to be amiss if this may be the first fiscal year without a new smartphone (if the iPhone 5 release slips into October). Right?

Well, not exactly.

Most reports indicate that the tweaks will be minor with the iPhone 5. Beyond a less problematic antenna design, a Concord Securities report this week states that Apple's new smartphone will come with a slightly better camera, switch to Qualcomm's (Nasdaq: QCOM) baseband, and upgrade to the A5 chip that powers the iPad 2.

Japanese tsunami disruptions aside, opting for an evolutionary upgrade instead of a revolutionary bar-raising makeover doesn't seem to warrant a delay. One possible explanation is that the move will give AT&T (NYSE: T) and Verizon (NYSE: VZ) time to upgrade their network speeds, but that's a bit jingoistic. The iPhone is now a global phenomenon. A three-month setback gives handset makers championing Google's (Nasdaq: GOOG) Android that much more time to stuff the channels with their shiniest gadgetry.

Things are getting interesting, but that always seems to be the case in the booming smartphone space.

What features would you like to see in the iPhone 5? Share your thoughts in the comment box below. Also, to stay updated on Apple happenings, add the company to your watchlist today!

Google and AT&T are Motley Fool Inside Value recommendations. Google is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers choice. Apple is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendation. Motley Fool Options has recommended a bull call spread position on Apple. The Fool owns shares of Apple, Google, and Qualcomm. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz has several iPhones in his household, but he's also pondering an Android switch. He does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned here. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.