During Apple's Q3 2012 conference call, Apple CEO Tim Cook repeatedly addressed the rumors and speculation surrounding new iPhones (and other Apple products) and how they cause Apple to lose sales of current generation products. Rumors likely refers to the stories sites like iMore post that reveal potential Apple product plans like the iPhone 5 and iPad mini. Speculation likely refers to customers noticing Apple's habit of releasing new iPhones and iPads every year, and then anticipating similar release schedules the next year.
While Apple Chief Financial Officer, Peter Oppenheimer, seemed less amused by the cost of these rumors and speculation, Tim Cook took a more pragmatic view. To paraphrase Cook:
We try very hard to keep our roadmaps secret and confidential, go to extreme actions to do that, however that doesn't stop people from speculating and wondering. We can never stop that. That's one of the great things about this country. So we won't spend any energy trying to stop that. I'm glad people want the next thing. I'm super happy about that.
Oppenheimer might see the money Apple lost from people delaying purchases in hopes new products come soon, but Cook clearly sees the money Apple will make in the future from those same people. And more. As the excitement they bring to Apple's brand is an essential part of Apple's marketing. It's what gets them line ups around the block and far more headlines than any competitor.
Apple has released a new iPhone every year since 2007. Savvy shoppers know Apple is likely to announce another new iPhone this year. Cook isn't upset those shoppers might be holding off buying an iPhone today. He knows they'll be lining up to buy a new iPhone later in the year.