That answer is privy to Cisco staff. Contact your authorized Cisco reseller and they'll get the answer for you.
I'm also intrigued in the answer to this. I also haven't seen Cisco made a firmware available to the 1262 to convert to autonomous. I've also reach out to my rep, they haven't seen a product number for autonomous.
My impression was the 1262 (1260 family) was to replace the 1252s (1250 family). Making the 1252/1262 the option between the 3500 family and the 1142 family.
So its like this:
Enterprise class + clean air / Controller based / With option for Antenna = 3500e
Enterprise class + clean air / Controller based / Without Antenna option = 3500i
Mid range class / Controller or Autonomous / With option for Antenna = 1252 (replacement is 1262?)
Mid range class / Controller or Autonomous / Without Antenna option = 1142
Which i won't get if the 1252 (can be autonomous and controller based) stays and the 1262 (remains only controller based) when their price range is almost the same, with the 1262 cheaper in some instances.
Don't get me wrong, love controller based setup but its expensive and hard to justify for a small office or mid size warehouse.
I guess my assumption would be that the 1262 will only have Autonomous firmware when Cisco eol the 1252, which has not been an option so far.
Any news, please update us.
My vendor pointed this out last night -- the 1262s now have IOS/Autonomous version in the software download section. Software was release just last December.
I will try to convert a lightweight to this version over the weekend.