If the latest rumors are to be believed then that is exactly what is going on. Multiple sources have told Apple news site 9to5Mac that Apple will soon allow Verizon iPhone users to utilize over-the-air- updates to get the latest updates for their iPhones. The sources make clear that iOS 5 won’t be available via OTA but all subsequent updates to the OS will be. You know what that means, no more having to hook your iPhone up to the computer, launch iTunes and have it update that way. Verizon iPhone owners will finally be “unplugged”. There have been rumblings that Apple has had the ability to do OTA updates itself for a while now but has been weary of opening it up to the masses, now they can offload that responsibility onto Verizon who is used to doing this kind of thing.
Interestingly enough the source didn’t say whether or not OTA update would be available on AT&T or through international carriers of the iPhone. There was also no mention made of the iPad or iPod Touch but there is no technical reason why the same concept couldn’t be applied to those devices as well. With that said, while OTA updates do provide a significant amount of convince there are drawbacks. Most of the recent iOS updates have been coming in over 600MB and that is no small feat to download quickly and efficiently wirelessly. 9to5Mac speculates and we agree that Apple would need to reduce the size of its updates, maybe breaking them down into smaller but more frequent chunks. Without that robust connection that most people get while being plugged into their computer, it would be a bad move by Apple to force those size updates via OTA. Another benefit that users get by updating via iTunes is that it first syncs the contents of your device to the PC in case an update goes awry. Without that backup, Apple would need to give user some other way to back up and sync their devices, a cloud solution perhaps?
What do you think, how would you feel about OTA updates for the iPhone? Would you mind having to update more frequently due to Apple possibly having to reduce the average size of each update? Let us know in the comments.