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iOS 4.2 launch delayed due to iPad Wi-Fi bug

The expected launch date for iOS 4.2 has come and gone, and there's still no sign of the update from Apple - and it looks like a late-breaking bug is going to keep it out of fans' hands for at least another week.

The iOS 4.2 upgrade was expected to launch today, but it hasn't appeared - and Apple is being its usual reticent self, refusing to offer any hint as to why the release is taking so long, or when iPad users can expect to get their eager lips on the upgrade.

It appears, however, that the delay is caused by a major bug only recently discovered in the iOS 4.2 Gold Master release that was seeded to Apple developers at the start of the month - and it's one which prevents the Wi-Fi connectivity from operating correctly.

It seems that when the iPad is updated to iOS 4.2, it starts dropping the connection after a brief period of time - a major failing in an Internet-connected device. Apparently, Not even a rubber band will fix it.

Discussions regarding the problem, including hints that it may even affect browsing over a 3G connection on models equipped with such connectivity, have been taking place throughout the web - and Apple watcher MacStories has collated them into a useful summary.

The short version: Apple is likely to release a second iOS 4.2 Gold Master, which means another period of testing - and a delay to the update's final release to end-users. Assuming that the company fixes the bug and releases the fixed test version today, we could possibly see iOS 4.2 released next Friday - hopefully with fully working browsing once again.

With Apple remaining quiet as to the problem, there's no way of knowing when iOS 4.2 will finally drop - but with demand reaching fever pitch, Apple had better get its skates on if it wants to keep the fanboys happy.