Monday, September 9, 2013

iPhone Event Tomorrow: Speculations on What Apple Will Likley (or Not) Unveil

It's been a quiet day considering that Apple's iPhone event tomorrow in Cupertino is slated to be the start of the mother of all Apple unleashing of products for the rest of 2013 through 2014.  After all, that is what Tim Cook promised us.  Having said that, while rumors have been delicious, again, it has been a quiet day.

Perhaps, many leaks and rumors I'm reading have either been confirmed or deemed plausible.  And that leaves very little and little possibility of last minute surprises for today or even for the event itself.

Having said that, while combing through blog posts of recaps, summary of rumors, and speculations, I've compiled a list of surprises ranging in their likelihood of happening from "just way freaking way" to "yeah, I can see that happening.

  • Prices of the iPhone 5C - dubbed the less expensive iPhone.  Can Apple surprise us with the lower $500 advertised price?  Perhaps.  At $400?  Very plausible.  $350?  I can see that happening.  it's like slapping on a cell antenna on top of an iPod touch and charge a premium for it.  Apple already does that with the iPad - accounting for the $130 premium between the Wi-Fi only iPad model and the Wi-Fi+LTE version.  $300?  No likely but t can happen.  Remember when the iPad was rumored to cost $1000 upon release but ended up being only $499?  Tim Cook made that happen and he may well have the dark arts to make a $300 iPhone.
  • Leaked images of the colors of the iPhone 5C are fake.  The real colors are much better.  I've complained about those colors a couple of times already.  However, those colors of the iPhone 5C look more and more real by the day.  Sadly, it's unlikely Apple managed to hide the colors of the iPhone 5C and try to fake out the public with other ones.
  • 128 GB version of the iPhone?  Pretty likely.
  • Fingerprint feature?  Pretty likely.  
  • iOS 7 will probably be released tomorrow or just days bofore the new iPhones are set to go on sale.  A killer feature or two?  Very plausible.  It depends on what you consider to be a killer feature.  One surprise killer feature is likely.  Two?  Unlikely.
  • iWallet.  Passbook is only useful to me because of my Starbucks habit.  I can just as easily use the Starbucks app instead.  Yeah, you should know by now that Apple is rumored to include a fingerprint feature.  If the fingerprint security feature is to figure prominently in an Apple wallet, call it 'iWallet', we will have to see just how many of these iPhone 5S, iPhone 6 or whatever Apple calls the next iPhone is going to be sold.  And if iWallet is something that Apple wants to be quickly adopted, would it make sense that the 2013 iPhones, high-end or the lower end iPhone 5C, all have a fingerprint feature to get more of these fingerprint featured iPhones out there?  Therefore, I think Passbook is slated for an upgrade but nothing earth shattering.  iWallet is unlikely.
  • True day long battery life?  I think there's a part of me that is doing a lot of wishful thinking on this one.  We might see an incremental increase of some stand-by time but nothing on actual use despite talk that the new inner workings of the new iPhone will be more efficient.  So, not plausible that we'll get a surprise here.  Much of my enthusiasm and hope stemmed from the long battery life advantage the 2013 Macbook Air has over the previous year model.
  • A new iTunes feature - it's been a while since Apple has done any significant deal on this.  We know iTunes Radio is coming.  It'll be big.  I've been using it and love it.  The rest of the market will as well.  So, this is no surprise.  How about iTunes Streaming video like Netflix.  A subscription feature or just allow us to stream content we rent or have purchased instead of download them?  Haven't heard a bit of info on this.  So, we very unlikely to hear about a new iTunes feature.  iTunes Radio will have to do.
  • Controller for iOS devices.  Perhaps an augmented Airplay.  Yes, this is likely only because we know Apple has shown interest in this and there have been chatter that a few accessory makers have been working with Apple.  Gaming is going to be big tomorrow.
  • Tied into the iOS gaming accessories will be how games will be displayed on television.  Apple TV could get an update to support these accessories.  What's not clearly is whether it's be software only or both software and hardware.  I have to say that it's likely iOS for the Apple TV will get an update with new apps and features but the hardware will remain the same.  There's no need for Apple to upgrade Apple TV just yet.  
  • We know Apple will continue to make iPods.  The regular iPod, aka Classic.  Shuffle.  Nano.  And the Touch.  While the iPod touch could get  a mention if there is an update worth mention.  In fact, Apple probably will keep the line-up the same without mentioning it.  What everyone is going to be thinking about it what Apple will do to address wearable computing devices.  It's unlikely Apple will unveil the iWatch or iGear tomorrow.  
  • OS X Mavericks, Macbook and Mac Pro.  Unlikely.  No iPads either.  Not yet.
  • New iOS device?  A 5" iPhone or a bigger screen iPad?  Right, not going to happen.
  • iOS in cars - look for a bit more information on this but don't expect the iCar.  It's be about more manufacturers getting on board for real with specific models coming.  But this is an incremental iOS penetration and a completely new front for Apple so they're going to take it very slow.  Don't expect to be able to tell Siri to lock doors, open/close windows, or turn on the A/C.  More information on iOS in cars is very plausible.  
  • App Store for Apple isn't likely.  It does get more and more plausible through the years.  If anything, it's we're likely to see an enhanced app store for iOS devices with Apple TV support.  It means no separate store just for the Apple TV.  Separate store for the Apple TV?  Not likely.  Apps build to support Apple TV through Airplay and accessories?  I can see this happening.

I think this is enough speculation on what likely will or will not be unveiled or announced by Apple tomorrow.  Maybe some of the leaked information are out of Apple's hands but for the most part, much of the rumors and leaks has Apple PR's fingerprints all over them.  Some are real and others are to mislead competitors.  In fact, I'm willing to bet a majority of Apple, inlcuding its PR wing, has no idea what'll be unveiled tomorrow.  Only a small handful truly knows.

But until 10am PST tomorrow, all we can do is speculate.  And we are with glee.

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