On Lessons Learned, or Why iPhone OS 3.0 Will Hit Before Next-Gen iPhones | iLounge Backstage


On Lessons Learned, or Why iPhone OS 3.0 Will Hit Before Next-Gen iPhones

On July 10, 2008, Apple prematurely released iPhone Software 2.0, setting in motion one of the biggest launch flubs the company has ever seen. The following day, as the iPhone 3G went on sale and many current iPhone and iPod touch users began downloading the new software—which required activation, just like a new phone—Apple’s activation servers ground to a halt, causing enormous delays at Apple and carrier stores around the world. Amazingly, the server failures left some new iPhone 3G customers with useless handsets, unable to revert to their prior, working phones, but also unable to use their new, expensive iPhones. It was a PR catastrophe for the company, that, when combined with early MobileMe and App Store issues—both of which launched that same day—took the company weeks if not months to completely clear up.

This experience is why those of you anxiously awaiting the release of iPhone OS 3.0 for the iPhone and iPod touch should expect the update to become available sooner rather than later. After enduring the problems that a simultaneous launch schedule caused last year, we’re expecting that Apple will get 3.0 out the door well ahead of the next-generation iPhone, in hopes of getting as many users as possible migrated to the new software prior to launch day. Yesterday’s release of iTunes 8.2, which is required for iPhone OS 3.0, only lends further credence to the notion that Apple does not want to deal with another mess like the one it had on its hands last July, and a staggered release for the new OS and new iPhone seems like one of the most obvious ways to ensure that this year’s iPhone release goes as smoothly as possible.

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I actually believe the opposite. I think Apple will release 3.0 after the iPhone is released so that it will secure some anxious upgraders who don’t want to wait any longer for the new OS.

Posted by Alex on June 2, 2009 at 4:31 PM (CDT)


A good post and a no-brainer for apple.  They’ll lay out all these plans next week, I’d imagine.  Looking forward to 3.0 and then an upgrade to iPhone 3.0!

Posted by jandro on June 2, 2009 at 4:32 PM (CDT)


I’m hoping you’re right… very odd to push out iTunes 8.2 if OS 3.0 isn’t scheduled until mid-July, especially when they have already been offering a beta version to developers anyway.

Might be wishful thinking, but I’d love to see OS 3.0 come out next week, during WWDC! Then again, I have a jailbroken (and unlocked) iPhone 3G, and I’d be way too tempted to install OS 3.0 immediately, especially since I have no urgent need to be unlocked right now. Hrumph…

Posted by JRBTempe on June 2, 2009 at 4:35 PM (CDT)


Agreed with OP.  I think the staggering is the only way Jobs and Co. will allow things to work in future.

Posted by Impaler on June 2, 2009 at 4:35 PM (CDT)


My money’s on next Friday.

Posted by Galley in Greenville, SC on June 2, 2009 at 4:38 PM (CDT)


Installing 2.0 required you to activate the iPhone again?  I never heard that one before.

I assumed the activation failure last time had nothing to do with firmware upgrades, but rather because it was a world wide launch and by the time it hit the east coast of the US it was too much for the system to handle.

Posted by Justin on June 2, 2009 at 4:53 PM (CDT)


It makes no sense for the iPhone 3.0 operating system to launch after the new hardware ships. My guess is that it is very close to being released to manufacturing and the version to be unveiled next week at WWDC will be basically feature complete. I would hope to see 3.0 available to current iPhone/iPod touch users soon thereafter.

It still takes time to manufacture phones and get them distributed to the U.S. and other initial markets. This also gives developers time to update existing apps and to write new ones that will take advantage of the upcoming hardware.

Once the new firmware is released, this gives Apple valuable time to receive feedback from current users so bug fixes can be quickly rolled out in version 3.0.1, hopefully a short time after the new hardware ships (I’m guessing early-to-mid July).

Some 3.0 functionality (e.g., App Store or iTunes Store purchasing options, push notification) could be turned on by Apple whenever they felt like it and not tied to release of physical hardware.

In many ways, it makes *far* more sense to roll out new service and software features to existing users and let them provide feedback before unleashing a flood of new iPhone customers onto the network.

Posted by cv on June 2, 2009 at 5:41 PM (CDT)


With the release of iTunes 8.2 yesterday, I’m fairly certain that we’re going to see iPhone 3.0 showing up either the day of the WWDC Keynote or very shortly afterwards.

Consider that with the 2.0 release, Apple needed to get the App Store ready as well, which meant that developers needed to have “finished” apps ready to sell. Since WWDC is a developer conference, it only made some sense to give them some after WWDC to finish polishing things up.  Releasing 2.0 without the App Store behind it would have been an underwhelming experience.  With iPhone 3.0, most of the apps worked reasonably well on day one, and Apple has been pushing developers for the past month to get their apps 3.0-ready.

Secondly, the iPhone 3G was really not all that much beyond the original iPhone in terms of encouraging people to upgrade. Sure, it had a GPS and 3G speeds, but otherwise it was very similar hardware.  If even half of the rumours about the next-generation iPhone are true, this is going to be a much more significant hardware upgrade. On that basis, people will have more reason to buy or upgrade to the new iPhone hardware regardless of when the 3.0 firmware actually comes out for the existing models.

Posted by Jesse Hollington in Toronto on June 2, 2009 at 5:51 PM (CDT)


It is absolutely my expectation that we will see OS 3.0 no later than June 18, with the new hardware to follow sometime in late July. I think it will be prudent for Apple to get existing users accustomed to the software, THEN you would naturally expect the standard “bug fixes” patch to follow thereafter so that the third-generation iPhones are shipped with whatever refinements are required in 3.0.1.

Last year’s 3G launch was an abject disaster. It almost made me lose faith in Apple, particularly given how seamless and user-friendly I felt the original iPhone’s launch had been. So I like the chances of Apple going back to basics and lowering the risk of totally bungling what will be another significant software/product launch.

Posted by Flippy Hambone on June 2, 2009 at 6:03 PM (CDT)


I think it’s doubtful that Apple would have the time to commit bug fixes fast enough to get them baked into a 3.0.1 firmware that would release to manufacturing for hardware shipping in the latter half of July.

Again, it would be conceivable to see a bug-fix point release a month or so after the new hardware ships, and maybe a more substantial update (3.1) in the fall.

Posted by cv on June 2, 2009 at 6:41 PM (CDT)


I’m hoping the new phone comes out prior to them releasing 3.0 so I’m not tempted to update my current phone.  I intend to sell my current model and if it’s jailbroken I figure it will be more valuable.

Posted by Ryan on June 2, 2009 at 7:28 PM (CDT)


The early release of iTunes 8.2 hopefully suggests the release of 3.0 shortly after the keynote address (which would be great because then I can start using it right away!)  I think doing that will relieve a lot of tension on the infrastructure and at the same time appease the loyal iPhone owners (not that they care that much about that!) but more importantly that will steal some of the thunder away from the Pre release just a few days before.  If they just end up teasing everyone with 3.0 there might be some original iPhone users who would potentially consider jumping to Sprint and the Pre for a little affair.  Now if they just give us original iPhone users who did not jump to the 3G last year a taste of 3.0 and we enjoy it, then we’d certainly be more likely to hang around for the full features of the new device whenever that may be.

On the flip side, maybe the early realease of iTunes 8.2 was just to “patch” the hole the Pre was possibly sneaking though into iTunes!

Posted by TosaDeac on June 2, 2009 at 9:32 PM (CDT)


I sincerely hope that Monday, Apple announces a CDMA iPhone for use with Verizon, etc. Hopefully this announcement will be followed by the release of a dock-connecting adapter that converts current iPhones from GSM to CDMA so I can get the hell off of AT&T;and onto a carrier with a functioning data network.

Yeah I know, it will never happen.

Posted by Paul on June 6, 2009 at 11:53 AM (CDT)


ok its finally here! OS 3.0 releases tommorw! what time will apple release the firmware do u think guys? as i am eagerly waiting for it LOL!

Posted by Hassan Visram on June 16, 2009 at 12:17 PM (CDT)

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