9to5mac‘s Mark Gurman today reported that he has heard that Apple is considering releasing the iPhone (and iPod touch) version of iOS 7 before they do the same for the iPad.
Gurman has historically been one of the most accurate sources of Apple information, and there is a compelling case for such a delay. First, it’s been obvious since WWDC that the iPad-optimized version of iOS 7 isn’t as stable or complete as the same beta OS on the iPhone. There has also been word that the iPhone version of iOS 7 is the more important of the two, and has been prioritized from the beginning.
A delay would allow Apple to iron out those issues, but also to provide better support for iPhone and iPod touch users who are updating to the redesigned OS:
With iOS 7 being the true transformation of an operating system that people of all ages and kinds have come familiar with for over half a decade, perhaps it would be logical for Apple to separate the software launches. Let those who need to learn iPhone iOS 7 (especially with the impending iPhone 5S debut) come into Apple Stores and call up AppleCare throughout September, but wait for October for the iPad users to get their help.
The biggest downside would be with developers. Developers have been busy updating their apps to take advantage of the iOS 7 design, and most of those apps will be universal. It’s unclear how Apple and iOS developers would be able to handle the situation.
9to5mac reports that iPad support would come later in the month or in early October, likely with the release of iOS 7.0.1.
Personally, I would be somewhat disappointed if Apple had to push the release of iOS 7 for the iPad back. However, I fully recognize that the current versions of iOS 7 on the iPad simply aren’t up to parity in terms of stability or smoothness as their iPhone counterparts. While many will undoubtedly claim that Apple is losing its way due to a delay, I would argue that it would be far less Apple-like if the company pushed update to iPad owners in its current state.