Previous rumors have indicated the first major update to iOS 7, iOS 7.1, will be released to the public in March after a testing period that initially began in November. AppleInsider today echoed those rumors with a report suggesting the release could come towards the middle of the month.
Citing an "unverified source," the site specifically points to a March 15 release date, which is highly unlikely as it falls on a Saturday. A mid-March release date that falls near the 15th of the month is in line with previous March rumors, however.
AppleInsider's source suggests the release of iOS 7.1 is tied to the completion of new Mobile Device Management options designed to allow corporate and educational organizations to manage large numbers of devices.
The source stated Apple's iOS 7.1 would include "over-the-air supervision, allowing iOS administrators to fully manage devices without the need for the much maligned Apple Configurator," allowing organizations to instead deploy iOS devices via an MDM server.
Improvements to MDM options are said to include methods to prevent students from bypassing restrictions installed on school issued devices, a problem that surfaced after students in the L.A. school district were able to delete management profiles from their iPads back in September.
Apple has thus far provided five iOS 7.1 betas to developers, with the most recent beta released on February 4. Along with the rumored improvements to Mobile Device Management options, iOS 7.1 also offers a number of visual tweaks including revamped shift and caps locks keys on the keyboard, refined icons for the Phone, FaceTime, and Messages apps, and a new look for several aspects of the Phone dialer.
Update: AppleInsider has clarified that the release date is "around March 15" rather than on March 15 itself.