Guys, Apple's release cycles are stable, for the most part. iPad releases in Spring, iPhone's hardware follows suit and releases in the Fall. The iPhone announcement took over the iPod's Fall music event last year and will stay that way.
In 90% of cases with Apple there are no surprises as to what is announced, it's the specifics of those announcements that are the clincher.
Tim Cook is an extremely pragmatic person who thrives on making efficiencies. Changing production cycles every year does nothing to help the company's bottom line or encourage better innovation. Think about it: even if you had 3 year's worth of development in the pipe, if you start rushing those products to market by switching you release cycles every 4 months, you're going to catch up to the 3 years.
Apple doesn't magically push stuff out of their labs. They buy advanced tech early, work years in advance, and tightly control what is released when on a stable cycle. That's because they're smart.