New iPhone Operating System Out Today: iOS 4Rich
If you have a recent iPhone, you’ll want to download Apple’s new iOS 4 software update today.
If you have an older iPhone, the most highly touted features won’t apply to you.
Apple’s iOS 4 software promises 100 new features for owners of the iPhone 3GS, released last June, including the ability to multitask, or run more than one app at once. It also lets you take control of the growing inventory of apps by organizing them into folders.
The software is being released today in advance of Thursday’s 7 a.m. launch of the new iPhone 4.
Will iOS 4 work for you? Check your model:
• iPhone. Besides last year’s 3GS, the new software will work with the 3G iPhone, released in 2008, but not with all features. For instance, multitasking and Bluetooth keyboard support won’t work with iPhone 3G.
• iPod Touch. The new features are mostly operable only with the latest version of Apple’s touch-screen iPod, the one released in late 2009. Multitasking doesn’t work with the second-generation iPod Touch, released in 2008.
• iPad. Apple’s latest hit – the hard-to-get iPad touch-screen tablet computer – doesn’t get the iOS 4 update until later this year.
Gene Munster, an analyst at Piper Jaffray, says Apple’s innovation with new software releases keeps products up to date and “is part of the science.”
“Apple is a smart company and wants to make a lot of money,” he says. “This is how it forces people to buy the latest products.”
In a note to investors, Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty estimated that 57% of current iPhone owners have older models that won’t work with all of the features in the new operating system, which will help fuel sales of the new phone. She expects more than 50% of current iPhone customers to upgrade to the new phone, up from just 18% for last year’s iPhone.
Apple says it has sold more than 50 million iPhones since its 2007 launch. Munster projects sales of 39 million this year, with total iPhone sales topping 100 million next year.
Apple and exclusive carrier partner AT&T began taking orders for the new iPhone Tuesday, selling out on the first day as demand overwhelmed resources. Apple says about 600,000 have already been sold. Its website says new orders will ship by July 14.
Apple hasn’t said what time the software update will be available Monday. To access the new iOS, plug your iPhone or iPod into your computer and you will be prompted to download the new software via Apple’s iTunes program.
Munster says the biggest new feature is multitasking, the familiar computer function that lets you, for instance, listen to Pandora online radio and answer e-mail at the same time. “It’s a feature that’s really been missing,” he says.
Among the other new features:
• Books. Apple’s iBooks store, first seen on the iPad, comes to the iPhone. (Current iPhone users already have been able to download e-books from Amazon and others.)
• E-mail. For those with multiple e-mail accounts, the new operating system lets you combine the accounts into one, for a unified inbox. A spell-checker has been added for e-mail.
• Playlists. You can now create playlists directly on your phone or iPod Touch.