Apple hardly ever commented on this, but according to Ina Fried (from Axios), the company drastically changed its plans for the iOS 12. At the heart of the matter is the development of new features, which were supposedly postponed to 2019 in order to make room for a greater focus on performance and quality than already exists in the mobile operating system.
If this is indeed confirmed, it will not be the first time. In the past, we've seen something similar happen both in the development of macOS (Snow Leopard was a refinement of Leopard, just as Mountain Lion was for Lion and High Sierra was for Sierra) and iOS.
Although it is a bucket of cold water for many users, the supposed one, since we are still talking about something in the confirmed decision, makes a lot of sense if we take into account the recent criticisms that the company has been suffering, either for issues involving the security of operating systems (the big list), delays in the development of features that were promised and not delivered (example: Messages on iCloud), among many others.
But what exactly would it look like for 2019? According to Fried, a series of features including an update to the home screen, the interface for using the system within vehicles (I imagine it is CarPlay), improvements in the main system apps like Mail and a better flow in the capture process, edit and share images.
Obviously, Apple will not be crazy to introduce a new operating system (iOS 12) with absolutely nothing new; the future system should come with improvements in augmented reality, in the way we deal with health data (something that already started in iOS 11.3) and new features in the recently discussed parental controls. In addition, Apple would be prioritizing work to make iPhones more responsive and less likely to cause customer support issues (such as dissatisfaction).
Internally, however, there are those who are questioning the strategy. Obviously, a renewed focus on quality and performance can alleviate some of the criticisms that the company has been suffering, but some wonder if this approach effectively leads to higher quality. Not to mention, of course, that "news" such as improvements in security and reliability are not good selling points for a launch, that is, Apple's marketing will have a job.
Most likely, we will learn about the company's plans for its future operating systems at the Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) 2018, which traditionally takes place in June. Until then, of course, everything can change.
Update 01/30/2018 s 14:02
THE Bloomberg reiterated Apple's plans to postpone to 2019 some news that would reach iOS this year and that this, in some way, also impact macOS.
However, Ma's plan to develop an environment for applications to run on both iOS and macOS would still be standing. They also stated that the parental control of iOS 12 has time to use the device and apps, making life easier for parents.
In addition, they also mention improvements in FaceTime (which can be something punctual or more relevant, such as group calls, for example). We'll see.