With Apple’s latest iOS 6 firmware installment release, 6.0.2, which is exclusive to the iPhone 5 and iPad mini, they effectively fragmented iOS as a whole. While there have been iOS releases in the past specifically for certain iDevices, Apple typically releases another new firmware to unify the iOS platform. In the case of 6.0.2, seeing as the update only addresses an unnamed Wi-Fi bug, Apple likely issued this firmware ahead of iOS 6.1 to ensure that all users are able to successfully update to 6.1 using the OTA (over-the-air) update feature.
So, if that’s the case, what about the release for 6.1? By tomorrow, January 1st, it will be three weeks since Apple pushed out the minor 6.0.2 patch. According to a recent tweet from Stefan Esser, a renowned hacker that’s been instrumental in the development of numerous Jailbreaks, Apple will likely release either the next beta version of iOS 6.1 or seed the gold master (GM) edition by tomorrow.
Assuming Apple does indeed seed the GM version of 6.1, a public release will closely follow and take place shortly after the new year has begun.
Looking back to iOS 5.1, Apple issued the final pre-released beta on March 6th, with a public release directly following on March 8th. Looking back even further to iOS 4.1, it took Apple approximately one week from the time they seeded the GM edition of the firmware until a public release was made available.
Assuming Apple follows a similar schedule as years past and that Stefan Esser’s theory is accurate, iOS 6.1 will be released within the first half of January, 2013. However, because Apple like’s to remain silent between iOS updates, nothing is ironclad and Stefan Esser’s theory remains just that: a theory.
Stay tuned for complete coverage on Apple, iOS 6 and upcoming firmware releases.