RUMOR: Apple and Verizon to deliver over-the-air iOS updates starting this fall

“Apple has long used the proxy of iTunes to push updates to its iOS devices: when a new software update is available, users need to plug their device in via USB, click update, and the new software version is downloaded and installed,” Mark Gurman reports for 9 to 5 Mac.

“Now, Apple… is preparing to provide over-the-air iOS updates, starting this fall.”

“Multiple sources (one as far back as March) say the new feature will debut in iOS 5, meaning iOS 5 will not come over-the-air but following point updates to it will,” Gurman reports. “Just like tethering in iOS 3, Apple has the technology but cannot just unleash it everywhere. Apple and Verizon Wireless are said to have been in talks over these wireless software updates since early this year. Sources could not comment on whether or not Apple is negotiating similar deals with AT&T or international iPhone carriers. The iOS-based AppleTV has been able to update itself without iTunes intervention so the hooks are obviously in iOS.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Judge Bork” for the heads up.]


    1. You got that right. I’ve had updates go less than perfect, so I can appreciate having that extremely fresh backup available when the device gets back to functional.

      And… Will the over the air update use some of the limited data? Or will it be “free” data?

      Just glad I still have my unlimited AT&T data plan. 🙂

  1. I too, like the fact that iTunes keeps everything backup up. But if Apple does intro over-the-air updates, I’m sure they’ll think it through. They’re smart people.

  2. It doesn’t bother me in the slightest. I plug mine in everyday to charge it and to sync my music because my collection is bigger than the phone so I rotate out the stuff I’ve listened to every day.

    It would be nice if they could deliver updates as smaller patches rather than downloading the whole thing each time though.

  3. personally, i’ll stick to usb.

    was it Sprint or Verizon that bricked a bunch of Phones last year due to OTA updates?
    OTA is nice, but for me.. i’ll stay away from it on OS updates. apps etc, fine.

    and yeah.. it has to be a free update and not charged to your data plan.

  4. This is a non-issue as far as I’m concerned. I’m quite happy to plug my iPhone into my MBP and let iTunes worry about software updates. It has worked flawlessly without a hitch so far. I don’t see how over-the-air updates will improve matters. 

    Let the Droid tards have their OTA updates & phone bricking in the event of failure to download or battery dying.

  5. That will certainly put a dent in your monthly data usage quota, unless Apple and the carriers come up with a way to make it not count against your contract’s limits.

  6. Hmmm, just look up Android OTA updates that did not go well for how not to do it.

    Had one person I was talking to with a Droid phone and she said it worked great up to a certain month and since then it has been horrible. She had no idea why.

    I did a little research for her and found that there had been an Android update pushed out that month that caused all kinds of problems. She needed to back rev her phone.

    My questions that went unanswered:
    Did she get prompted that there was an update?
    Did it just install during the night and “surprise” you’re on a new OS?
    Did it warn her to backup her phone and tell her how to restore it if it was a crap update?

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.