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Apple and Verizon reportedly may move iPhone to over-the-air updates

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Apple and Verizon could start updating the iPhone's operating system over the air this fall, after the release of iOS 5, according to a report from 9to5mac.

If the report is correct and Apple does move to wireless updates, iPhone owners might be able to update their handsets to new versions of iOS directly from their phone.

The move could provide an alternative to having to plug an iPhone into a computer via a USB cable and download an iOS update through Apple's iTunes software, as is done now.

Some of Apple's major smartphone competitors, such as those with Android, Microsoft Windows Phone and HP Palm smartphones, each feature the ability to update operating systems over the air.

"Multiple sources say the new feature will debut in iOS 5, meaning iOS 5 will not come over-the-air but following point updates to it will," 9to5Mac said in its report. "Apple and Verizon Wireless are said to have been in talks over these wireless software updates since early this year. Sources could not comment on whether Apple is negotiating similar deals with AT&T or international iPhone carriers."

The report did not name any sources, but did say Apple has the technology in place to perform wireless iOS updates now, but such a change has to be negotiated with carriers since the updates would be pushed via their respective wireless networks. IOS 5 is expected to be released this fall.

Officials at Apple and AT&T were unavailable for comment. Verizon, however, declined to comment on the report.

"Just as a standard practice, we don't address speculation out there, or rumors, and that would apply here as well," said Ken Muche, a Verizon spokesman.

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-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles

twitter.com/nateog

Photo: An Apple employee holds a Verizon iPhone 4 at Verizon's iPhone launch event in New York on Jan. 11. Credit: Brendan McDermid/Reuters

 
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