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Given Apple's notorious level of control and seeming unwillingness to ship anything before it's ready, it probably would be hard to do more than one release annually, unless the company (and, more importantly, its customer base) was willing to settle for minor tweaks between releases.
Another reason why Apple probably maintains its current schedule is marketing: It's hard to stoke the hype machine more frequently than once a year or so. Though sometimes I get the impression that diehard Apple fanboys would buy a new device every three months if they could. It's probably good that they can't.