Oh man...I bought the Mk. I version of this lens on THURSDAY. *sigh*
This isn't a product announcement. Also, just because a patent was published, it doesn't mean that the new version is imminent. Some patents never become real products. The ones that do can take years to reach the market.
True, but the timing, with rumors of a new body, the DIGIC V news, the expected 5D3 or 1Dx ... this is looking like a kit lens that'll be out this year.
I doubt very seriously the 24-70 will make it to America as a kit lens. Too pricey.
On top of that, the lenses they announced last year still haven't made it to the market. They were way behind schedule even before the earthquake/tsunami hit. Who knows what that has done to Canon's time lines.