It is the eve of Apple’s September 10th event, and the Internets are abuzz with all manor of speculation as to what will be revealed. And while there are a few things that seem like an absolute certainty, there are other things being talked about that I just don’t see happening. Either way, it’s like Christmas Eve for Apple nerds.
I believe that tomorrow will will hear announcements of a new iPhone and that it could be available at the time of announcement, or by the end of September/the beginning of October. If you’ll recall, the iPhone 5 was announced on September 12, 2012 and shipped in the US and Canada on September 28th. I believe that the new iPhone will be the iPhone 5S, and I doubt very greatly the existence of an iPhone 5C (C standing for “Cheap” or “Cheaper”). While I do think that Apple could benefit greatly by having a budget priced iPhone, I doubt Apple will tag anything they create with the word “cheap”. However, I could see a less expensive plastic backed iPhone taking the place of the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S as the lower cost options for budget conscious consumers. The thing that remains unclear is what will happen with the iPhone 5. If the iPhone 5S is priced at $199 with a 2-year contract where do the other two phones fall in terms of price? Historically when a new iPhone launches, the previous model drops from $199 with contract to $99 with contract. So if the 5S is $199, and 5 is $99, how much is the PlastiPhone? Another possibility is that the iPhone 5 will simply cease to exist. I know, I know, it sounds crazy. But if you think about it, the PlastiPhone *is* the iPhone 5 with a different rear housing. I guess we’ll find out tomorrow, but I can tell you one thing for sure: If the iPhone 5 sticks around, it’s going to be interesting to see what happens with pricing, cause Apple doesn’t give stuff away for free. Either way, Trey Elliot is chomping at the bit. His 4S is feeling a bit long in the tooth.
A couple of other items are being talked about, including an iPad refresh. This is one that I really hope is true. I hope that Apple with announce a new iPad tomorrow, but it depends. “On what?” I hear you asking, and the answer is sales. Apple likes to announce new products in the fall to help drive sales through the holidays. Last year they had an event on September 12 and announced the iPhone 5, which shipped at the end of that same month. Then, just over a month later on October 23, they announced the iPad mini and Retina 4th Generation. I think we’ll see a repeat of the same thing this year. “But why? Why not announce it alongside the 5S?” I hear you shout at your screen as you read this. The answer is still sales. If Apple announces two new iPhones *and* new iPads in the same day, two things happen. First is that they’ve got nothing left until after they holidays, and that’s not good for them. They need to roll out products in a “ramp-up” fashion to get people excited about the new products right in time for the holidays. Second problem is that they effectively kill the sales of the current generation of iPads. Once a new model is announced sales of the current model fall off a cliff as people wait to get their hands on the latest and greatest.
A couple of things that I think are near certainties are official release dates for the redesigned Mac Pro, iOS 7, and Mac OS X 10.9 Mavericks. In my opinion Apple could almost release iOS 7 tomorrow and it would be fine. The Free For All staff have been running iOS 7 in beta since it’s announcement at WWDC, and though it was rough at the start, the current version of the beta has been rock solid on all of my devices. I cannot speak to Mavericks’ readiness personally, but based on conversations I’ve had with people who have, it’s a great update that corrects some problems (full screen with two monitors) and some welcome additions that include Maps, iBooks, Finder Tabs, retooled Safari just to name a few. Under the hood of Mavericks are some advanced technologies that are going to improve performance, both in speed and in battery life.
No one ever knows what Apple will do. That’s part of the fun of following them as a company. So the only thing that I can say will happen for certain is that there will be an event and Apple will make some announcements. According to their invitation to the press, it will “brighten our day”.