The 2011 edition of the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) has sold out within a day of its announcement.

WWDC is the biggest annual event in every Mac enthusiast's calendar but it is the first time the conference has ever sold out so quickly.

In 2010 WWDC sold out in just 8 days, while the year before, tickets were available for an entire month before selling out.

After Apple formally introduced the first iPhone in 2007 the company has, like clockwork, had the next generation device released in the US by June or July - right after the WWDC - but this year the next generation iPhone is tipped to arrive later in the year.  

"At this year's conference we are going to unveil the future of iOS and Mac OS," revealed Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing in a March 28 statement, hinting that this year's WWDC will feature developments on both the Mac and iOS operating systems rather than focusing on hardware.

The shift in tactics has come as a surprise to many in the tech industry who were expecting Apple to stick to its original release schedule and has led to chatter about about what a later-than-usual release time frame for the next generation iPhone means for Apple and its customers.

Business news website Business Insider's Dan Frommer suggests a delayed iPhone 5 release might actually be a good thing for the company as well as for "would-be iPhone buyers, Apple fans, and investors."

"If Apple wants to extend its lead, it eventually needs a major update that will leave the copycats scratching their heads," said Frommer referring to the growing list of worthy Android rivals appearing in the smartphone market. "Perhaps that's what's taking so long."

Tech news site Venture Beat agrees. An August or September iPhone release might mean Apple is able "to take advantage of newer LTE chipsets that are smaller and more efficient," said Venture Beat, which means the company could finally include support for LTE 4G networks in the next iPhone.

"The Verizon iPhone 4 was just released in February, and a fresh iPhone 5 coming just four months later may anger millions of Verizon iPhone buyers," said web magazine Fast Company.

iPhone users on Twitter are expressing mixed opinions on the rumored delays.

"Rumors going around that iPhone 5 won't be announced at #WWDC this June. Good news that my iPhone is gonna stay 'current' for little longer," tweeted one user while another pleaded, "Dear Mr Jobs, please I'm begging you.. I desperately need iPhone 5 to be released soon, please.. Thank you."

"While waiting a few more measly months for a new device may not seem like hot news, Apple's product offerings center on just a handful of individual devices - and since it's one of the world's biggest tech companies, a change to any of these results in billions of dollars of sales, and causes ripples all throughout the tech marketplace," added Fast Company.

Apple's five-day-long Worldwide Developers Conference will take place from June 6 through June 10 at San Francisco's Moscone West.