Since introducing the feature at the iPhone 3G debut event earlier this year, Apple has kept mum regarding the status of push notification for the iPhone. The feature, according to various sources, was pulled from the final pre-release version of iPhone OS 2.1 that had been seeded to developers. Apple’s self-imposed deadline or releasing push notification services is now long past.
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.
Why it’s not here yet It is 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 appears 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, have 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.
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