Is Apple planning a December launch of iOS 4.3?

24 Nov 2010

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Rupert Murdoch has confirmed that News Corp and Apple’s forthcoming iPad newspaper The Daily is well under way and could be out in December. It has also emerged that Apple will bring out an iOS 4.3 in December to facilitate the push of daily news products from the cloud.

Apple’s launch of iOS 4.2 earlier this week was meant to have happened a fortnight earlier but Wi-Fi issues discovered in the Gold Master issued to developers held it up.

The Apple rumour mill in the past day has gone into overdrive on speculation that iOS 4.2 – which brings multi-tasking and folders, not to mention AirPlay to iPad, iPod and iPhone devices – will be swiftly followed up by iOS 4.3.

According to MacStories, it seems the iOS 4.3 will be less about snazzy user features but more about the overall plumbing Apple has in place to deliver dynamic content – like Murdoch newspapers – to devices like the iPad.

Recurring subscriptions model for iPads

Because products like The Daily will be produced seven days a week and with each edition costing 99 cents, Apple, News Corp and many other publishers to boot will require a system that facilitates recurring subscriptions.

In essence, Apple is building APIs to facilitate recurring subscriptions for App Store apps and its onset will involve structural changes to MobileMe, the App Store and iTunes.

A release date of either 9 or 13 December has been tipped and a large media event attended by Apple CEO Steve Jobs and News Corp CEO Rupert Murdoch is planned.

It is expected that iOS 4.3 will also resolve some initial streaming problems found in AirPlay.

Speaking on Fox News, Murdoch explained that News Corp has spent the last three months assembling a newsroom that will be 100 staffers strong.

The Daily will launch in beta mode sometime around Christmas, and will be introduced to the public on the iPad and other tablet devices in early 2011. It is expected to cost 99 cents a week, or about US$4.25 a month. It will come out — as the name suggests — seven days a week.

“The operation is currently working out of the 26th floor of the News Corp building on Sixth Avenue (New York) in a space that looks like a veritable construction zone. The staff’s permanent home will be on the ninth floor, and they’ll move down once it’s ready,” he said.

Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com