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iOS 4.3 launch imminent, possibly tied in with iPad 2 unveiling

Apple is expected to launch iOS 4.3 in the next ten days, including Wi-Fi hotspot and in-app subscription features. The new software may get its own event including iPad 2's big reveal.

Itching to install iOS 4.3 on your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad? Assuming you haven't already bagged the developer beta version of Apple's new software, you shouldn't have long to wait: iOS 4.3 is expected to be made available in the next ten days.

Why are we so sure? It's all tied into the launch earlier this week of News Corporation's The Daily iPad news app. The Daring Fireball blog points out that the app will use Apple's new in-app subscriptions system to charge readers $0.99 a week -- but only after the two-week free trial period. The new subscriptions require iOS 4.3, so it needs to be rolled out by 16 February.

That's the theory, anyway, and it's a pretty convincing one. Apple has so far released three beta versions of iOS 4.3 for developers, so it should be nearly ready for us punters to play with.

We took a look at the software last month, hailing the return of the physical screen orientation lock, multi-touch gestures, the ability for apps to use Apple's AirPlay technology, and most of all the option to turn your iOS device into a personal hotspot, Android-style.

Separately, MacNotes.de is claiming that Apple will actually host an event to talk about the new software, with a rather special 'One more thing' at the end: iPad 2. This is based on the ever-chatty "sources from the accessories business", who also hint that Apple's second-generation tablet will go on sale in early April.

All of this is admittedly tenuous, although if Apple is planning an event next week, invites would likely be dropping into journalists' inboxes later today on past form.