Apple will take the wraps of the third major release of its iPhone operating system next week.
At a special event being held in Cupertino next Tuesday, Apple will show off iPhone 3.0 and the software development kit that goes with it.
The news suggests Apple is continuing with its annual iPhone rollout programme, with the new OS debuting in June/July on or after Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference.
Apple hasn't hinted at the features the new release will add - top of most users' lists will be SMS forwarding and the provision of cut and paste facilities - still absent from the current version of the OS, 2.2.1.
It's entirely possible that Apple will launch new iPhone hardware to go with the update, whatever it contains. The company has scorned speculation that's it's working on a small-size iPhone, unofficially dubbed the iPhone Nano. Who do you believe - Apple or the Chinese companies claiming to have accessories for the phone in the works?
What is clear is that with the arrival of Google's Android, the upcoming Windows 7 revamp of Windows Mobile, Palm's hoped-for revival on the back of its Pré handset and Web OS software, and World+Dog launching iTunes-style application stores for their devices, Apple needs to continue to work hard to maintain the iPhone's momentum.
Apple usually keeps its cards close to its chest but this time last year revealed some of the enterprise-oriented technologies it was planning to add to iPhone OS 2.0. Next week's unveiling suggests it now sees this kind of event as a permanent fixture. ®