iOS Software Update Down, iOS 4.2 Imminent?

Several users have reported that Apple's iOS software updater within iTunes is currently down, leading to speculation that the company could be preparing to roll out iOS 4.2 in the very near future.

Users connecting their devices to iTunes and clicking the "Check for Update" button are currently being greeted with the following message:

The iPhone software update server could not be contacted.

Make sure your network settings are correct and your network connection is active, or try again later.

iOS 4.2 had been rumored for release last week, but a last-minute issue with Wi-Fi connectivity for iPad users reportedly results in Apple pushing back its internal release timeline and issuing a new golden master version for the iPad to developers. Rumors have pegged the new public release of iOS for sometime this week or early next week ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday in the United States.

Update: The software updater is now functioning normally and alerting users running iOS 4.1 that their software is still up-to-date.

Update 2: The iOS software updater is operating sporadically at the moment, sometimes offering the error message and other times noting that the user's software is up-to-date.