Rumors predict Apple releasing iOS 4.3 for its mobile devices at an event next month, yet the iOS 4.2 operating system for the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch was just released this week. Apple's event is also expected to launch an iPad only newspaper, The Daily, from Rupert Murdoch's News Corp.
Days after the release of Apple's iOS 4.2 update for its mobile devices, speculation is rising that another update may be just around the corner. That would be an unusual move for the computer giant.
Apple hasn't officially announced any event next month, but bloggers on Wednesday ran rampant with a report by John Gruber of Daring Fireball that a Dec. 9 event with News Corp. Chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch and Apple CEO Steve Jobs could kick off an anticipated recurring subscription service for the iPad. Dec. 13 has also been mentioned in some reports .
Enter: The Daily
The rumored event might also feature the release of another incremental iOS update that would fix some bugs in the current version.
Apple didn't respond to our request for comment about an upcoming event or the release of iOS 4.3.
Earlier this week Women's Wear Daily reported that Murdoch has been working since May on an iPad-only news service, with no print edition or web site. While many publications have mobile applications, News Corp.'s The Daily, reportedly available for 99 cents per week and with an initial staff of 100, would be the first to cater directly to the iPad's more than seven million users (and growing fast as holiday shopping begins).
iOS version 4.2 was delayed for reasons unspecified by Apple earlier this month and the version released on Nov. 22 was dubbed 4.2.1. The update added the ability to run more apps simultaneously and organize them in folders as well as AirPlay, which enables streaming of media via Wi-Fi from mobile devices to players, and AirPrint, to connect to remote printers.
Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT , sees the rumored Apple event as a sign that "they are putting together some kind of specific capability related to media."
Developing original content like The Daily is key to keeping the iPad's competitive edge as similar devices roll out, he added.
"Updating the OS to optimize content, like what Rupert Murdoch is going to bringing to the iPad, sounds like a very good idea," King said. "Apple is going to have to come up with [updates] on a more regular basis."
Google 's Android OS, which debuted in February 2009, is currently upgrading from version 2.2 to 2.3, with 3.0 due early next year. Apple's mobile operating system, which began with the iPhone in 2007, was renamed iOS with iPhone 4 in June.
Many of the new tablet devices rushing into the market are powered by Android, although some manufactures have held out, saying the system isn't ready for devices with larger screens.
"The tablet market is in its infancy," King said. "With announcements coming from HP and Acer, Dell and others, it would be foolish for Apple to be complacent in 2011. Competition is really going to heat up, and the way for Apple to maintain its leadership position is to be proactive about updating both the drivers and the device."
But Avi Greengart of Current Analysis said Apple is likely not worried. "Apple cannot afford to fall behind for too long in any area, but, realistically, they aren't behind in too many areas and they are the market leaders by significant margins in others," he said.