On January 28th, a mere five days from now, iOS 6.1 beta 4 will expire. If the past is any indication, then Apple will act, either releasing a 5th beta for iOS 6.1, or releasing the iOS 6.1 golden master a final baked version, which shortly precedes a public release.

Since the firmware expires on the 28th, then I dont see Apple waiting until that day before making a move. The most realistic time period for it to drop a new release whether it be beta 5 or the golden master would be tomorrow, the 24th, or Friday, the 25th.

The big question is whether or not Apple decides to push out another beta release, or feels comfortable releasing the golden master (final) version of iOS 6.1. While its not unheard of for Apple to go more than four releases deep into a beta period iOS 5, for instance, saw seven different beta releases it would be only the second time that this has happened for a non-major release.

The reason why the timing is so interesting for us, is because we believe that the hackers working on the iOS 6 jailbreak are waiting for a final version iOS 6.1 to be released, before finishing up and releasing the long awaited jailbreak. How do we know this? They basically told us as much

Yesterday, someone asked me in the comments of my future of jailbreaking post, when to expect the iOS 6 jailbreak to be released. In reply, I stated that it would likely be released after the iOS 6.1 firmware.

Well, if this tweet from pod2g doesnt confirm that fact, then I dont know what does:
planetbeing @planetbeing
Tons of progress the last few days. I think the future is looking bright for jailbreaking.

pod2g @pod2g
Come on Apple. Release that 6.1 now! /cc @planetbeing @pimskeks @MuscleNerd
8:48 AM - 23 Jan 13

While its not exactly rocket science that the team working on the jailbreak would want to wait until iOS 6.1 dropped before burning its exploits, the fact that pod2g is basically begging Apple to release its firmware speaks volumes for how confident they are, and for how far they have progressed.

When considering this, although we still dont know the exact release date of the iOS 6 jailbreak, it does help paint a clearer picture in our minds as to a potential release window.

If Apple drops iOS 6 golden master within the next couple of days like I think they will, then a public release isnt far behind. With that in mind, its not outside the realm of possibilities to believe that an iOS 6 jailbreak is much closer then we think.

What say you?