This jibes, mostly, with what I’ve been hearing. The Guardian’s dates are slightly off, though. My understanding is that this initiative is going to launch with a press event, with Murdoch (and perhaps other newspaper and magazine executives) joining Steve Jobs on stage. This is not going to be a quiet launch, to say the least. But “this month” is effectively already over, considering that Thanksgiving is Thursday, so it won’t happen until next month at the earliest.
(The date I’ve heard is December 9, but that’s a Thursday, which would be somewhat unusual for an Apple press event. My guess is that they’re telling people December 9 but it might slip back to Tuesday or Wednesday the week after. Perhaps it will coincide with the opening of the Mac App Store?)
Here’s what we heard from a reliable source: when Apple didn’t know about the WiFi issues in the GM seed of iOS 4.2, the OS was scheduled to be released weeks before Nov. 22nd. Apple found out about the WiFi issues, released a second GM build and iOS 4.2 came out yesterday. It came out in November, but it should have been out in the first half of November. Anyway, before the WiFi issues were discovered, Apple was already planning to release a new build of iOS 4.x in mid-December. Most specifically, they were planning for an iOS 4.3 release on December 13th, which is a Monday.
Our source tells us it is unclear whether the “extra time” that was required to ship iOS 4.2 (actually, it’s iOS 4.2.1) will cause a delay for the rumored release of iOS 4.3 on December 13th or not. iOS 4.3 should, however, include bug fixes and maintenance of the code. It’s likely that 4.3 will also address the initial issues found in AirPlay, but we can’t confirm this just yet.