We visited the topic of Push Notification services for the iPhone 3G in November 2008. At that time, the feature was a month late and there was no word from Apple. Now five months later, Apple is still keeping mum regarding the status of push notification for the iPhone. Apple's self-imposed deadline for releasing the push notification services is now long past, and nothing about it was mentioned at Macworld 2009.
What Push would do: Push notification services would have allowed applications like instant message services to operate in the background while the iPhone is asleep or another application is being used.
Back in November we speculated about why it's not here yet. We thought that it was possible that, after the uproar over the unsuccessful launch of MobileMe and iPhone OS 2.0, Apple has exercised increased caution about launching yet another server-based technology. In addition, it appeared that AT&T's network was having trouble handling all the new data-hungry iPhones on it's network, and Apple's push service infrastructure may not have been ready to meet demand.
Some users, however, had posited a financial reason for delaying the service. Let's look at the instant messaging client as an example.
If push notification services existed, the instant messaging client could supplant, to some extent, AT&T text messaging subscriptions that sell for a $20/month for an unlimited texting plan. Developers could use SMS texting to resolve the no-background problem, and some apps actually do already, but the text message fee represents a barrier to entry.
Now fast forward to February and people are speculating that Apple might be looking to actually allow apps on the iPhone to run as user selectable background processes. This would bring what everyone, developers especially, wanted to begin with--true multitasking. However, there is some concern that existing hardware may only be able to handle at most two concurrent processes.
Most people are speculating that any new iPhone hardware would be based on chips being designed by P.A. Semi a company that Apple recently acquired. Apple is now able to create and build its own ARM chips in-house. Couple this with the licensing of Imagination Technologies' current and future PowerVR graphics chips that could possibly be linked with the ARM chip from P.A. Semi, and the current iPhone might evolve into something really speedy.
Finally, announcements regarding iPhones availability in Egypt and the United Arab Emirates mention the iPhone 3G being sold as soon as this month, but also note a third generation device debuting available in June.