Originally Posted by joonix214
Yes, great points.
Just to clarify, I did not mention that they gave me the entire overhauled idrive, because I still had the silver knob. Just the software updates that had the new interface and other improvements.
The reason why they could be calling a "new generation" rather than a "software update that you can get at your local dealer" could be because they are releasing a new major version of the software. To give you an example, it's like installing Windows 8 on a PC that is currently running Windows 7. The input methods, display, and all of the hardware is the same, but the look and feel (and of course other features) is different but they still make you pay for it. Microsoft still gives you service pack and patch updates to Windows 7 for free, but they can't give you Windows 8 for free since it's a new major version of the software.
And, looking at the changes (just through pictures since that is all we have to go on right now), it seems as though most of the improvements are software based (UI, enhanced menu structure, weather info on map, POI enrichment, Google autocomplete). Even if there was a "faster processor", I can't see why those updates, which are all software changes, can be applied to the current system.
I can see an entire overhaul of the idrive system coming into play if the interaction method (knob + buttons + display) changed, but currently there is no mention of it except for the button text change from "CD" to "Media".
I don't think the example of Windows 7 -> Windows 8 upgrade is a valid one. We are talking about very specific OEM automotive hardware here. It it is not really designed with anything more than minor updates in mind. For the same reasons the 1st gen iPhone can't run iOS 5.1, you're not going to be able upgrade a 2009 335i (or even a 2012 F30) to the new interface announced yesterday.
You can certainly ask you CA about an upgrade, but I would be surprised if he/she was even aware of it. If you really want the next-gen iDrive, your best bet is to wait until 2014MY or even 2016MY for LCI F30 refresh (more likely).