John Paczkowski

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Apple’s iPhone OS Sneak Peek: Multitasking, Better Games and a Mobile Advertising Platform

With the iPad launch behind it, Apple is gearing up to introduce a new version of its iPhone OS. At a special event Thursday morning, the company will give us a sneak peek at the new operating system, and while it’s impossible to say for certain just what features it will include, analysts seem confident that multitasking for third-party applications will be one of them.

“Our sources indicate that a key feature of the forthcoming iPhone 4.0 software will be a full multi-tasking environment where third-party apps will also be able to be run simultaneously and/or in the background along with AAPL’s own apps,” says Kaufman Bros. analyst Shaw Wu, who notes that such functionality is a necessity now that the iPad has arrived.

“While we believe this is an improvement for all iPhone and iPod touch users,” Wu adds, “we believe this will be particularly important for the iPad, due to its much faster processor and much larger screen where users will more likely want the capability to run multiple applications much like most do with their PCs and Macs.”

The upshot, according to Wu: “We believe this will allow Apple to deliver a fuller and more differentiated experience on the iPad helping drive greater adoption.”

Seems a reasonable prediction. Certainly, multitasking for non-Apple applications has been something iPhone and iPod touch users have wanted for quite some time. With the iPad–Apple’s third iPhone OS device–at market, now may be the time to roll it out.

Beyond this, Wu sees a few other important announcements coming out of the Apple (AAPL) event–one, perhaps, related to more powerful and sophisticated games and another related to a mobile advertising API.

Says Wu: “With its growing focus on mobile devices and the apps platform, we believe Apple will eventually integrate an advertising platform into the iPhone SDK. In Jan-10, Apple acquired Quattro Wireless, a mobile advertising company. With just 4 months to integrate Quattro’s mobile platform into the SDK, there is a chance the service is not completely ready for launch, but we believe it is likely that Apple will announce it at the 4/8 event.”