There is an excuse for it, you just might not like it. The same team at Apple works on both OSX, and iOS. You may recall when the iPhone 4 came out with iOS 4, Apple claimed it was delaying the anticpated release of the Mac OS because the OS team was focusing finishing up on iOS 4 and when that was completed Apple would turn its attention to Snow Leopard, which was released later then usual. The OS release was also small in scope focusing less on features and more on cleaning up the code.
This summer Apple released OSX Lion the same time it would have the year prior released an update to iOS along with a new phone. Apple couldn't release both at the same time since the same team is working on both, so it finished Lion and then turned its attention to iOS, which obviously is going to be released later.
Further, many sites, including Gruber, has been contending for a while it would make sense for Apple to move the release of IOS to the fall when Apple typically ramps up for the Holiday by updating other popular iOs devices like its iPod Touch. It seems Apple did that. The catch, was it moved the release of the iPhone further into the year as well.
We might not like it, but from a business perspective it makes sense. Apple's distinguishes the iPhone largely through software so it wanted iOS to be updated along with the new phones.
I do not not know if it is true or not, but there was also rumor that some of the parts in the iPhone were developed in Japan where factories were devastated by the Tsunami. That might have played an effect as well.
My overall thoughts though are that the change of time was not related to hardware, but software.
It is worth noting, that by keeping the shape the same, Apple essentially allowed accessories created for the other iPhone 4 to be used here as well.
Originally Posted by Andysol
Dude- it's not about a new phone and being a fail. Some people think that- fine, whatever. My beef is why was this not brought out in June. There's no excuse for it.