Tomorrow is one of the biggest days in the world of tech. Love ’em or hate ’em, Apple will hold their annual iPhone event at their headquarters in Cupertino tomorrow at 10 am PST/1 PM EST. One thing we know for sure is that it will dominate the news cycle tomorrow. For months now the rumor mills have been churning. What do we know, what do we think we know, and what are we hoping for? Let’s discuss.
iOS 7 Mark it down and bet the house. Apple will showcase its final version of its mobile operating system tomorrow, iOS 7. The iPhone and iPod software version should be available to download sometime between tomorrow and Wednesday September, 18th. Expect the iPad version to be released a bit later. iOS 7 marks Apple’s biggest change to its mobile software since the original iPhone was introduced in 2007. As is the case people tend to not like change, expect quite a bit of mainstream media attention once the public gets its hands on it.
New iPhone(s) Apple has a history of releasing phones in a tick-tock cycle. For example, the iPhone 4 was the tick, a significant external change from its predecessor, while the iPhone 4S was the tock, focusing solely on internal upgrades while borrowing the same exact external form factor as the phone before it. Last year we got the redesigned iPhone 5, so expect this year to see an iPhone 5S. What upgrades are we sure to see? A newly redesigned 12 or 13 MP camera with dual flash, an upgraded processor, a white and gold option, and fingerprint detection built right into the home button seem like sure bets.
Another near certainty is for Apple to release the long rumored budget iPhone 5C. Investors have been clamoring for Apple to release a mid-tier phone to compete with the many Android phone on the market. For years Apple’s answer to this has been to discount prior versions of their phone. This year that will change. Expect a plastic iPhone 5C to be available in a variety of colors. Apple will leverage its excellent supply chain and use parts found it prior iPhones in order to cut costs further. Expect a new model to be available for around $99 with a 2 year contract or in the $400-$500 dollar range off contract. This should help the company attract new buyers, especially overseas.
Apple TV Software Refresh While there were some rumors about a next generation Apple TV arriving tomorrow, all signs point to that not being the case. You can likely expect the existing Apple TVs to receive a software refresh to unify the look more closely to iOS. iTunes Radio will be rolling out to the Apple TV and I would be surprised if we didn’t hear about this tomorrow.
Macs Just about every Mac Apple makes besides the Macbook Air is due for a Haswell Chip Refresh. Haswell technology has brought amazing battery life to laptops while sustaining similar processing power compared to previous generation processors. While we expect a Mac based event isn’t too far away, if history is an indicator you can expect to see this refresh in October alongside updated iPads.
iPad Speaking of iPads, it has been nearly a year since both iPad mini and iPad have been refreshed. Countless leaks lead us to believe it won’t be long until we see an iPad that borrows its shrunken bezels from iPad mini and reduces its overall weight. We also expect iPad mini to receive a retina display that many have been clamoring for. We just don’t expect this to happen tomorrow.
iPhone Surprise? While it’s basically a done deal that the iPhone 5S will receive a fingerprint sensor, we are not entirely certain what it will be used for. Conventional wisdom says it will be to unlock your device or help authenticate your password when making purchases from iTunes or the App Store. But earlier today a new patent revealed that Apple is working on adding NFC to a future product. If Apple decides to add it to the iPhone 5S, the result would be a safe way to, for example, pay for your groceries by only using your phone. NFC coupled with a finger print sensor could ensure that only the person who is authorized to use the phone is able to make payments from it. While it is certainly possible Apple announces this tomorrow, don’t count on it.
There are so many leaks now a days, that the chances of Apple coming out with a truly remarkable feature that we have yet to hear about is unlikely. That doesn’t mean that it won’t be the most talked about event in tech this year. We’re only about 17 hours away. Follow us on Twitter for live tweeting of the event and then check back here for more on Apple’s iPhone.