First year, Apple showed off the original iPhone (2G or 1,1) and iPhone OS 1.0 in January at Macworld 2007, gave us a release date at WWDC 2007, and shipped both together at the end of June. Second year, Apple showed off iPhone OS 2.0 in March at the SDK Event but didn't introduce iPhone 3G (1,2) until WWDC 2008 in June, and announced the release date for both -- the same release date for both -- July 11.
This year Apple once again showed off iPhone OS 3.0 at March at the Sneak Preview event, and is rumored to be introducing iPhone v3 (2,1) at WWDC 2009 on June 8. If that comes to pass, we also expect them to announce the release date as they have in the past. But will it once again be the same release date for both?
Pros: Apple likes big events and big news. Nothing is bigger than simultaneous releases. Apple also seems to like to stick to their patterns, and for the last two years software and hardware releases were one and the same. 2007 saw iPhone 3G alongside iPhone 2.0, App Store, and MobileMe (yeah, we'll get to that in the cons...)
Cons: That simultaneous release last year? iTunes went down. No one could activate. MobileMe's lack of readiness caused months of bad PR. As big a news bomb as it was, it brought the negative every bit as much as the positive.
Frequent reader, Icebike, makes a great case for a staged released in our comments. It lets Apple control the roll-out, manage expectations, and better assure quality experiences for all involved.
But that simultaneous release is just so tempting, will Apple simply charge ahead with it anyway? Should they? Is the Circus Maximus worth the attention, good and bad?
As an iPhone user and potential 3.0 and next-gen iPhone user, what would you prefer Apple do?