iPhone 4.0 in June, "Grand Unifying" iPhone 4.1 in September?


Following on Daring Fireball's suggestion that iPhone 4.0 might bring the Calculator, Clock, Stocks, Weather, and Voice Memo to the iPad, The Loop Insight argues that it might just be iPhone 4.1 instead:

Phone OS 4.0 will include lots of new features, just like you would expect to see from Apple. However, It doesn’t make sense for Apple to unify the two operating systems for 4.0 with the timeline they are working with.

Rather, I expect Apple to release OS 4.1 in September or October. It will not only address issues with the 4.0 release, but also unify the operating systems.

iPhone 4.0 would presumably hit with the 4th generation iPhone (not to be confused with an iPhone 4G for LTE which is likely 2012). For the last two years, new iPhone software has been released as beta at SDK preview events in March while new iPhone hardware has been debuted at WWDC in June. New iPod touch hardware has followed in September, typically with updated software.

If Apple sticks to this pattern, the above does indeed make sense as getting as many users -- iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch alike -- on the same version of the OS is better for Apple, better for developers, and better for users.

For us, we'll take it one step at a time and wait for that iPhone 4.0 sneak preview...

Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!

Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

More Posts



← Previously

TiPb Apps 4.2 -- Box.net for iPhone (Macworld 2010)

Next up →

EFF Uses NASA to Out iPhone SDK License Agreement

Reader comments

iPhone 4.0 in June, "Grand Unifying" iPhone 4.1 in September?


"For us, we’ll take it one step at a time and wait for that iPhone 4.0 sneak preview…"
i´m getting crazy waiting for it...we should have heard something by now, no? hope it´s not delayed because of the stupid ipad

Given Apple's focus on launching the iPad I highly doubt we will have any sort of iPhone OS 4.0 announcement any time soon. It would distract both consumers and developers from the iPad launch.
As much as I want to upgrade my 3G when I get a cheap(er) upgrade price in July I even think there may be a delay in the release of a 4th gen iPhone. It's just not Apple's style to release a new product and then release a major upgrade (even only in software) just a few months later.

im going from my 3g to 3gs on Friday since my home button had water damage I need a phone. I want to wait but I need a phone straight up.

What new features are we to expect? I have been asking this question for a while but nobody has an answer they just want 4.0 but what will 4.0 really bring. what are we waiting for?

Does anyone at least know if the iPhone is going to get 3.2? All this talk about the iPad is over/underwhelming me. Too much secrecy.

It's really begining to look like the iPad is this years "boom". NOTHING is being said about a new phone, just a lot of assumptions based on what Apple has done in the past. Everywhere you look, it's Ipad this, Ipad that. Jobs has even been replying to emails "sent from my iPad". I think he has his new toy. It's what the iPhone was when it came out, and now that everyone has a touch phone of some sort, he has lost intrest. He can no longer promote the phone as unique, because it is not anymore. And, in some aspects, has been passed up. But, he has the iPad market all to himself (for now) and it looks like that is where his focus is now. I don't think there will be a "new" phone this year. More of a 3G-to-3GS type thing. With ATT "promising" LTE in 2012, that may be the next target date for a new product. It will givethe iPad a couple of years to be the "new kid on the block" and get all the attention. Plus, if they release a smoking new phone, people may buy THAT instead. Not getting excited this time......

I agree with Scott. Besides, Apple is in litigation mode now too. Despite all the wishful thinking by the ubergeeks, I think Apple is pretty OK with the iPhone right now--it's still selling well--and I see bigger things, including better integration among the products, futher down the road.

really hoping for a massive update with 4 .., sooo many things they need to fix on the now dated OS; calendar , notifications, customisation, springboard, local file storage.., the list goes on..

There is so much to improve upon. Being that most of the emphasis right now is on iPad which by the way is ran by the iPhone OS when this new device is out next month I hope that 3.2 is right on schedule with it's release. I do believe Apple already have chosen the next iPhone. I don't think it will change much. Maybe screen probably the back casing and hopefully a better battery. Much of the improvements will be OS just because of the iPad. I remember months ago this site posted about the prototypes and ofcourse one being stolen. Some type of update on what's going on is needed.

I was hoping to hear news of iPhone 4.0 this month however it may not matter as my company (who pays for my iphone) may be switching everyone to Verizon to save money, so Nexus One here I come.

If apple does not release a new iPhone or some bomb new software this year that blows us all away, I will get bored just like jobs did and give an android phone a spin.

I disagree with Scott - Steve said the "A upgrade" was coming, and I'm sure it is. But I don't think they'll split the 4.0 release and the iPad-integrating release into two parts. Yeah, there's a kind of superficial precedent set for that kind of thing, but the fact that we have not had a 4.0 announcement yet argues against it. 4.0 is meant to provide the new underlying paradigm for the whole iPhone OS platform, and may not be announced until the moment it's about to be available, along with the upgraded iPhone.

Lady.......Didn't intend to mean there wouldn't be one, just afraid it will be like the 3G-to-3GS "upgrade". While it is faster, and has a few minor tweeks, it is still the same basic phone. The complete lack of "rumors" this late in the game is also a little strange. The "rumor mill" is usually full tilt by now, and its' not. No photo shopped pics, no alleged mock ups, no leaked new parts, NOTHING. That leads me to believe it will be some more tweeks in the same ol' box. Maybe a flash for the camera, MAYBE a little more customization, and that's about it. With ATT about to start rolling out LTE, if really doesn't make sense to have a new phone, only to have to scrap it in 2 years. Apple may be thinking that the iPad will "pick up the slack" if iPhone sales level.

@Scott: I'm not sure the level of rumors can be used to gauge the release of a new product. The Apple Gestapo did an excellent job of keeping the iPad under wraps. Most of the iPad rumors were just speculation and wishful thinking and nearly all of them were incorrect. It was literally only a few days before the official announcement that any real pictures leaked.
I don't think we have heard anything because of all the attention surrounding the iPad and because it is likely that the next iPhone will be released later than June/July to give the iPad some time to grow sales before everyone gets distracted by Apple's next "magical and revolutionary" product.

Definitely agreeing with Scott here. I was hoping for a major handset upgrade for 2010 but I just do not think its going to happen. We will see a new handset most likely with the same form factor, new chip and more RAM. Watching the initial sparring with Verizon and ATT on LTE, it just makes sense for Apple to wait and release the huge handset upgrade in 2011 when it can maximize its bang for both carriers. Could be completely wrong though. Maybe we will see a major hardware update this year with another 3G-3GS type update in 2011 and 4G in 2012. That actually makes a bit more sense.
Ultimately the key will be the 4.0 OS update. I do see it making fairly large changes and this is what the "A Update" is that Jobs is speaking of.

I think it it is silly to fret over the next iPhone. Some of you act as if their are only 2 or 3 people total at Apple. Steve Jobs won't ignore and hasn't forgotten the iPhone which I believe is currently the largest hardware income generator for Apple. It makes sense for Apple to be publicly focused on the iPad at this time. Duh!
I agree withe Lady Kaede that Steve said A1 iPhone upgrade. The iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch will coexist nicely. If one takes purchases from the other the money still goes to Apple and doesn't negate a future purchase of the item not chosen this year. So no biggie.
So relax kiddies, their will be a great iPhone hardware software upgrade this year. The rumor mill has been focused on the iPad, as it should be. After the iPad 3G is released and by about mid May their will be more blogging about the 4th generation iPhone.
So for anyone to say that they "hate" the iPad because they think it will interfere with the iPhone is an example of a toddler's temper tantrum.

i think the bump will be in specs of course but they will integrate the new chip, camera flash, better battery, updated form factor. and as everyone else has stated the software will be the major update. have to get the integrated mail box. also, why can't they have one integrated mail, contact and calender solution for the Mac desktopm (and iphone OS too of course)? why can't i set a meeting within contacts? they really need to update this portion of the software. I mean I know I can buy outlook for mac 2011 and get all the features of office, but I switched from pc for a reason. thank you.

I've always imagined Apple someday integrating their Mail, Address Book, and iCal apps into one... but I see them being set up more like the MobileMe UI than Outlook. I wish Apple would add a native ToDo app to the iPhone already. Sick of waiting for it.

yes this would be fine, but wouldn't it be easier to just build hooks between the the three apps so they work together? I think this duplicates what outlook 2011 will do so i suppose with finite resources and a nice solution coming up (depending on your point of view) it's not a priority. hope outlook works well with mobileme though.
but I still think they need to do it because for the iphone to be fully functional as a business device, i need to be able to go to a contact and have 'create meeting' as an option. it will save a lot of time and have all the info i need automatically populated into ical. also, in recent calls i want the option of selecting the person who called and then either texting, emailing or calling. it's only one extra step. ok, there's more but I really love the phone anyway!

Carlos, your pissing me off!!! I'll send you to $&!@)(? college!!!! You moron.
I believe we see the new 3GSS in June. The name is more than doubtful, however, it does indicate what I believe the phone is about. More speed and ram. 10% speed increase and double the ram to 512mb with a 5mp camera. Everything else will be the same. No flash, (software or hardware) no OLED screen, no front facing camera. The iPhone 4g will be the big one that wows the fan boys back to a 6 year old opening a NES for Christmas kind of state. Apple is and will rest on it's laurels again and as long as they can get away with it. It's sad though.