Select the iPhone under Devices left side of the iTunes window.
Select the Summmary tab from the menu.
Select or deselect: Open iTunes when this iPhone is connected
And from the iTunes menu bar click iTunes / Preferences then select the Devices tab.
You can select to have the iPhone sync automatically (or not) there.
Or, right or control click the iPhone under Devices then make a selection.
That's the whole point. Everything that you mentioned is done as you say. In fact, it has been done for as long as I can remember. The problem started about 2 weeks ago it seems. I don't know if it has something to do with Lion, something to do with the lates iOS release or something to do with both and the fact that I am using an iPhone 3GS. Maybe it has nothing to do with any of it. I don't know. All I can say is that iTunes does not open when I connect the phone.
Ah-hah! My iTunesHelper was "unknown"!
With a bit more researching, I found this:
Goto System Preferences:Accounts:Login Items. Check to see if iTunesHelper is listed and not unknown. If it is unknown, delete it. Then go to Finder, find iTunes, and Control-Click to Show Package Contents. Go to Contents:MacOS and you'll see iTunesHelper. Now just drag this into the Login Items window in System Preferences and check the Hide box. Restart your Mac and iTunes should now start whenever an iOS device is connected.
Thank you, Ian! I have been having the same problem for a week or so. "Open iTunes when this iPhone is connected," selected, but it didn't happen. I followed your directions above, and now it's working again. This must have something to do with a recent update. I wish Apple people could get these glitches taken care of. An old lady like me doesn't know enough to uncover the solution you found. Thanks again.
I had gotten to the point where I realized my iTunesHelper was unknown when I checked in the Users under System Preferences. Yesterday, I went ahead and deleted it once I saw that it was unknown. The problem I encountered next was not knowing how to add it back. Thanks for your post. I followed your instructions, added it back, restarted and am back to normal.