Dueling iPad software update rumors

March 8, 2011, 6:15 PM UTC

The Boy Genius had it coming Tuesday; MacRumors says Wednesday

Senior vice president Scott Forestall demoing the software update at Wednesday's iPad 2 event. Photo: Apple Inc.

According to Apple’s (AAPL) press release, iOS 4.3 was scheduled to be available Friday as a free update. This morning, the Boy Genius Report — a tech blog with a better-than-average track record on such matters — spread the rumor that it was coming today (Tuesday) at 1 p.m. EST (10 a.m. PST).

MacRumors had a different version. iOS 4.3 was coming early, it agreed, but like The Loop‘s Jim Dalrymple, it was pretty sure that there would be no update before Wednesday.

When 1 p.m. came and went without an update, MacRumors’ version became the operative one.

Among the most eagerly awaited features in iOS 4.3: Personal hotspot, by which iPhone 4 owners can — for an extra $20 a month — share their Verizon (VZ) or AT&T (T) data connection with up to five devices through a combination of Wi-Fi, BlueTooth and USB.

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[Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter @philiped]