The world anxiously awaits the next major iteration of the iOS. Apple is expected to preview iOS 5 at WWDC 2011 a few weeks from now and the excitement is mounting. While there's no word on iOS 5 release, we know that iOS 5 public developer preview is coming up soon. Among a host of speculations, 9to5mac claims that Apple may introduce over-the-air iOS updates alongside iOS 5 release.
The reason why Apple may introduce OTA iOS updates when the company finally decides to release iOS 5, may be because Apple wants to be at par with Google's Android and Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 platform at least in terms of delivering updates. Both of the aforementioned platforms receive updates over-the-air whereas an iOS device owner has to be first told that a new iOS firmware is out and then they have to hook up their device with iTunes in order to update the firmware. So Apple may be looking to change that.
It is being said that the Cupertinos have been in talks with Verizon Wireless since the start of 2011 just for this purpose. We don't know as of now whether or not AT&T was also involved in the talks. The reason why Apple needs to work things out with carriers before they introduce OTA iOS updates is because of the fact that an iOS update is above 600 MB in size and mobile carriers won't be thrilled by the fact that their customers pull phenomenally large data, in one go, via their network.
In this case, Apple could take a page out of Android's book. Android OTA updates are relatively small in size because only the changes are downloaded and not the whole firmware image like iOS does. So this is what Apple can do to make over-the-air iOS updates a win-win situation for both the consumers and the networks.
We'll have lots more on iOS 5, as it develops. Keep checking iPhoneism.com for more updates.