U2 Not Launching a New iPhone, But A New Album?

U2

Joe Pugliese

As rumors began swirling -- and later denied by the band themselves -- that U2 would be debuting its next album on the soon-to-launch iPhone 6, signs are still looking favorable that the long-anticipated project could still arrive sometime this fall. As Interscope chairman John Janick recently told Billboard in its Fall Album Preview, “We hope to have it out some time this year, and to have [the music] shortly.”

Plans for the album and a tour that was initially set to launch in the fall were pushed to 2015 earlier this year to accommodate new sessions with producers Paul Epworth and Ryan Tedder, both of whom played pivotal roles in the production of Adele's blockbuster 21 album. U2 began writing for the record with producer Danger Mouse (Gnarls Barkley, Broken Bells), who remains executive producer of the project.

Though new song "Invisible" debuted in a splashy (and charitable) Super Bowl commercial in partnership with Bank of America and (RED) this February, it's unclear whether the cut will be a part of the new album, which one insider says is finished. Another source tells Billboard that a new single could arrive as soon as the next two weeks, with co-production from Epworth, Tedder and Danger Mouse likely.

Why all the delays? The band doesn’t take its living legacy lightly, as Bono noted in a February cover story with The Hollywood Reporter, “to be relevant is a lot harder than to be successful.” And the band's next tour is likely to be as ambitious in scope as its most recent 360° Tour, which became the highest-grossing tour of all time with more than $737 million in receipts from three legs in 2010 and 2011, according to Billboard Boxscore.