Apple has flagged up March 17 for a special event to preview its new iPhone 3.0 software.

One issue that could be addressed with the new OS is allowing for background tasks from third party applications.

While the iPhone currently doesn’t allow this, rival handsets running Google Android and, crucially, the as-yet unlaunched Palm Pre, are able to support background applications.

Since user pressure hasn’t done the trick then maybe the Pre’s imminent arrival has provided Apple with the stimulus it needed to remedy this shortcoming on the iPhone.

With the new software expected to be available by June/July, this would be perfect timing for Palm’s planned launch of its new smartphone by the end of the first half of 2009.

Among the other expectations ahead of next week’s Apple event is the suggestion the iPhone OS could find its way into a device somewhere between an iPhone and laptop.

OK, so Apple recently ruled out a "netbook", but what if it’s a big screen iPod Touch?

Subscribe to our Newsletter