In March, Apple promised that 3.0 would appear this Summer, causing pundits to speculate that the firmware and a refreshed iPhone line might hit the streets in early July, around the one year anniversary of the 3G model. July 11 marks the date that the 3G iPhone and App Store finally launched.
Rumors have been flying in recent days that 3.0 might bow as early as next Monday. The recent release of iTunes 8.2 supports that idea, indicating that Apple may be closer to a 3.0 update than originally thought. TUAW readers point out that apps which have publicly announced remote notification support have begun appearing in iTunes, albeit in 2.x releases.
There's no reason I can think of that Apple should have to wait for new hardware before releasing the 3.0 firmware to the general public. In fact, I'd greatly welcome an earlier release for enthusiastic reasons I cannot expand upon due to the ongoing NDA. Others have pointed out that a staggered software/hardware release might avoid the iTunes server capacity issues that plagued the 2.0 firmware release.
So when do you think Apple will start shipping 3.0? Let us know in the comments and cast your vote in this handy poll.%Poll-30754%