It has to be asked why Apple has felt the need to show off their plans well ahead of release. I believe that it all comes down to the might of the Palm Pre, as well as the forthcoming smattering of Google Android phones which could quite easily put the iPhone in the shade.
By making this announcement now, Apple has grabbed back the limelight just as it was being threatened by some seriously clever smartphones. That threat hasn't disappeared, but just by adding basic functionality (which we all know should have been in there from day one), the iPhone will get some more publicity and at last become a phone that everyone can get on board with.
Copy and paste, stereo Bluetooth and MMS aren't big deals per se, but it means Apple can cleverly market them as new features and get even more people on the bandwagon.
Cynical or not, this clearly means that the iPhone will stay top of the pile. The fact is, in the general public's mind, the iPhone is the hottest phone out there. And with this update, Apple has ensured all but the hardiest of pioneering gadgeteers will keep the faith with the iPhone. Now, that deal with Adobe...