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Is Apple Ditching the iPhone Wire for iOS Updates?

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It's 2011, and we're still inundated with wires.

Wires to power, wires to charge, and -- still -- wires to sync. Understandably, running a cord from an outlet to our smartphone is still the best method to recharge the battery, but to sync? It's bad enough that a unified standard hasn't fully rolled out yet, but why do some manufacturers insist on us physically tethering our devices to our laptops in order to transfer files or even activate them?

And for all its progressive tech and revolutionary features, Apple still requires us to plug in our iPhones to update and sync with iTunes -- at least for non-jailbroken devices. Heck, you can't even use an iPad without first activating it from another computer.

C'mon, Apple. You're better than that.

Well, rumor has it, Apple's about to take a bold step and ditch the iPhone wire for iOS updates. Confirming with several sources, 9to5 Mac reports that starting with iOS 5, users will be able to upgrade their operating system with over-the-air updates like Android and webOS users. Apple and Verizon have reportedly discussed the traffic that such an update would cause since earlier this year. 9to5 Mac's Mark Gurman could not confirm whether similar talks took place with AT&T or international carriers.

While a tremendous improvement from the current system, Gurman notes the massive size of these updates -- over 600MB -- and the required iTunes backups in case the update should fail. He believes that following the iOS 5 rollout, incremental patches may be required in lieu of single, data-heavy upgrades, and a cloud-based backup system could replace a the wired iTunes sync.

Presumably, once iPad and iPod Touches run iOS 5, they will have access to OTA upgrades as well.

It certainly will be nice if Apple introduces wireless upgrades. And if it can get a cloud-based iTunes up and running by iOS 5, we'll be that much closer to getting rid of all these damn wires in our drawers.

(See also: AT&T: No New iPhone Before August and Google Crumbles to Verizon and AT&T Threats)

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