Apparently inadvertent comments by a couple of journalists have fed speculation that the iOS 4.3 will drop in in a week to ten days
. Articles by Wall Street Journal and New York Times writers both mentioned February 13 as the day AT&T will support Personal Hotspot tethering on its version of the iPhone, which would require a firmware upgrade. The date has since been deleted from both reviews, but other lines of evidence support a 4.3 release sooner rather than later.
In his review of the new Verizon iPhone 4
, David Pogue of the New York Times made note of the Personal Hotspot feature as a selling point for the device. "Many other app phones have it - AT&T's iPhone gets it on Feb. 13
- but Apple's execution is especially nice," he wrote. "For example, the hot spot shuts itself off 90 seconds after the last laptop disconnects. The phrase with the date in it has now been edited to just say "AT&T says its iPhone will get it soon." It could be that he got the date wrong - February 13 is a Sunday - or that he spilled the beans earlier than AT&T wanted him to.
Other hints for an imminent release come from Apple insider Jon Gruber, who thinks that in-app subscriptions for apps like The Daily will require an iOS upgrade
. Since the Daily is free for the next two weeks, thanks to a sponsorship from Verizon of all people, Gruber says he believes it was part of a deal where Verizon gets to be the only carrier with Personal Hotspot for a couple of weeks. The iOS upgrade enabling tethering as well as subscriptions, the reasoning goes, would come out around the time Verizon iPhones actually ship, at the end of next week. Even though the Daily app can apparently handle subscriptions now, as Federico Viticci at MacStories
found, it's not clear that any other app has access to those APIs.
A separate rumor has Apple announcing the April release of the iPad 2 as a "one more thing" at the event where iOS 4.3 is unveiled. This one from MacNotes
doesn't really pass the smell test: if Apple announces an upgraded iPad next week, sales of the current model would plummet, and a lot of customers might go with a PlayBook or Galaxy Tab rather than wait. It's much more likely that Apple will pick a date close to the actual release to announce the new version, sometime around the year anniversary of the original iPad on April 3.