iPhone Applications Released Early?

On July 1, 2008

Two pieces of news caught our eyes today.

First there was this– a post over at TUAW entitled “iPhone 2.0 firmware release date hidden under our noses”. It notes that the original iPhone3G press release clearly stated the release date of the new iPhone firmware. It stated–

"iPhone 2.0 software will be available on July 11 as a free software update via iTunes(R) 7.7 or later for all iPhone customers…"

This a huge deal  because this is the firmware that gives the keys to unlocking the hidden potential of the iPhone by bringing all sorts of app goodness to the iPhone.

Since the iPhone 2.0 firmware went gold master last Friday, however, it begs the question- is July 11th the actual release date or is July 11th the latest release date?  Could we possibly see it this week? Hmmmmm.

Then there is this bit of news–

A Mac OS X firmware update appeared in the software updater today. It offers numerous bug fixes but, more than anything else, this update preps our Macs for working in conjunction with the new iPhone firmware.

Firmware 2.0 already gold master. Mac OS X updated for the new iPhone firmware. Do we have to wait until the 11th or is there a chance we might just see the new firmware some time later this week? This Friday or in conjunction with the release of iPhone 3G. Which would be the better approach?

We can’t seem to agree.

Personally, I (Dan) think Apple would be smart to release the new firmware this week. It would  take the built-up excitement and increase it even more prior to the 3G iPhone coming a week later. In addition, by allow everyone who already owns an iPhone to upgrade it Apple would not only spread out the demand on its servers but it would allow the original owners to Beta test the AppStore prior to its release with the new iPhone firmware. Besides, the good will apple would get from all of us who jumped into the iPhone waters initially would be a welcome pat on the back- a little “Thank You” for our loyalty as customers.

I (Dimitri) don’t see one single statement in all of that that rings true. Why would Apple want to dilute the excitement that will come on the 11th with the simultaneous release of new hardware AND firmware? The double wammy Apple will receive from the dual release will be like nothing we have seen before. Just think about it- news hardware AND 3rd party applications on your iPhone and iPod Touch on the same day. What could be better. Strain on Apple’s servers??? First off, Apple is certainly ready for strong demand. Second, the new iPhone will likely be shipping with the firmware already in place so there is no need for downloads to the new 3G iPhones. Finally- when have you ever known Apple to care about that kind of “good will.” Don’t get me wrong, I love Apple’s products but they aren’t going to plot their strategy based on the wants or needs of a few (million) of us early adopters. We will be seeing the AppStore no sooner than July 11th.