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Latest rumours see iOS 4.2 launch on Friday

Another day, another round of Apple rumours.

The latest stem from an AT&T insider who has told Mac Stories that the Mac maker will be seeding three new products over the next three days.

Don't get too excited, though. All three products are inextricably linked.

Let's put this into perspective: iOS 4.2 is the latest point release for Apple's mobile devices, and is expected to bring the iPad up to the same level of functionality as its pocketable siblings, the iPhone and iPod Touch.

We already know from our own experience that, although the Gold Master of the operating system works on the iPad, some functions which rely on iTunes, including Calendar syncing and the like, do not.

That's because iTunes needs to be upgraded from 10.0.1 to 10.1 (confusing, innit?) to enable all the new bits.

Joining the viscous cycle of installs, iTunes 10.1 apparently needs OS X 10.6.5 in order to work, so the current upgrade path goes as follows:

Install OSX 10.5.6, upgrade to iTunes 10.1, fanny about in iTunes pushing iOS4.1 to 4.2.

Which is all well and good if you have an iPad (or an iPhone 3G, which should also get a major performance kick in the pants) but seems like a hell of a lot of work for the few minor tweaks to the iPhone 4 or iPod Touch.

And we wouldn't like to be the poor chap manning the pumps at Apple's secret server base somewhere in the Arizona desert when millions of feverish fanboys clamour to download and install all three major upgrades in one go.

As with anything involving Apple, all of this is based on conjecture, rumour, and probably a little bit of bloody-minded making-stuff-up, but our best guess based on the runes we are reading is that iTunes 10.1 and OSX 10.6.5 will tip up some time in the next 12 hours, and that iOS4.2 will slink into view at 10am Friday morning Cupertino time (which is 6pm in Blighty).

As always, we'll have our finger on the button, so stay tuned.