UPDATE: As of 10 A.M. Pacific Time, the iPhone 3.0 Update is now available from the iTunes Music Store.
Apple appears to be playing games with shipments of its new iPhone 3G S to customers who ordered online. Earlier promises of "delivery by June 19" have been replaced by "delivery by June 22." Meanwhile, downloads of iPhone OS 3.0 updates, promised for today, have apparently not yet begun.
iPhone 3G S customers report that their phones, according to UPS tracking information, appear to have arrived in the U.S. from China. Earlier this week, the tracking site promised delivery to customers as early as today.
UPS then pulled any mention of a delivery date, saying instead that the recipient had requested a delivery delay. A call to UPS revealed that Apple--not the recipient--had demanded the delay. Now, iPhone 3GS units are scheduled for delivery by 10:30 a.m. on Friday, according to UPS, which is also now referring delivery questions to Apple.
Still, the UPS tracking site continues to report a June 18 delivery to some customers, which is consistent with Apple's earlier "before June 19" promise. Questioned about this, a UPS customer service rep repeated that deliveries would actually take place Friday morning.
Almost as anxiously awaited as the new iPhone is a software upgrade for current owners. iPhone OS 3.0 includes important new features, such as cut-and-paste and a unique "find my iPhone" capability to locate and optionally scrub data from a lost handset.
As of 7:45 a.m. PT, using iTunes to request a software upgrade still reports that Version 2.2.1 is the "current version" of iPhone software. Apple has some hours to make good on its promise the upgrade would be available June 17.