There will indeed be an Apple (s aapl) event in March, but it (obviously) won’t be the rumored desktop event. Instead, next week press have been invited to attend Apple’s iPhone 3.0 special event next Tuesday, March 17. Rumors about what the iPhone 3.0 firmware would bring have been circulating, but no firm details have yet emerged, and Apple’s invite betrays no additional information.
The event next week will mark a little over a year since the reveal of the original iPhone SDK, and the timing is probably not coincidental, since part of the 3.0 announcement will include the revelation of a new SDK for developers to work with. And considering the wording of the invitation, 3.0 will likely mirror 2.0 in that the firmware won’t be immediately available. “Get an advance preview of what we’re building” definitely suggests that Apple isn’t ready for a public release just yet. We might see a timeline similar to last year, with the actual release being timed to coincide with the introduction of new iPhone hardware in June.
A key feature promised early but still missing from the iPhone firmware is support for third party background notification. Recent rumors speculated that Apple might be opting to instead allow one or two applications to actually run in the background, which would probably tax the existing iPhone’s processor. Likely we’ll find out which solution Apple is going to choose at next week’s event.
Turn-by-turn navigation was another feature floated early that has yet to appear, and there’s a long laundry list of user complaints that Apple still hasn’t addressed, like the lack of copy and paste, and MMS. We’ll see Tuesday just how deaf they really are to customer feedback.