Many rumors have been buzzing around Apple’s press event scheduled for tomorrow. If Apple CEO Tim Cook follows Steve Job’s game plan, it’s about time that Apple does four things: introduce a new must-have gadget, update existing devices, release low-cost models of existing devices, and expand to more distribution partners.
From a budget iPhone to the launch of the iWatch, here’s what may (or may not) come up in Tim Cook’s speech tomorrow.
The iPhone 5S
We know almost for sure that Apple will announce its next iPhone at tomorrow’s event, and that the phone may or may not be called the iPhone “5s.” Despite how little we know about the phone, though, iPhone users are becoming extremely excited for the phone’s release, perhaps excessively so – some fans already lie in wait outside the flagship Apple Store on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. Though it’s unlikely the phones will go on sale the day of the event, Mac Rumors spotted shameless Apple fans camping outside the store on Friday in the hopes that they will be among the first to touch and buy the new iPhone. What a way to spend your weekend.
Whenever it’s released, the iPhone 5S is expected to be offered in a special gold or champagne color and – here’s the exciting part – the phone is rumored to sport a fingerprint sensor on the home button that would replace the phone’s traditional passcode entry. Perhaps this is why some speculate that the “S” in iPhone 5S stands for “security.”
The iPhone 5C
By now it’s well-known that Apple will be releasing a mid-tier iPhone aimed toward budget-conscious buyers and the growing Chinese market. Commonly called the iPhone 5C, this device is expected to come in a brightly colored plastic casing. Leaked photos of the iPhone 5C have depicted red, yellow, green, blue, and white casing options.
But how much will the budget iPhone cost? John Paczkowski at AllThingsD estimates the phone will be priced between $400 and $500, reflecting a “pricing sweet spot” for smart phone buyers in China. Further evidence of this is backed by the rumor that Apple has signed a distribution deal with Chinese carrier China Mobile.
iOS 7 was announced at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference in June. Known (and mocked) for its colorful, flat design, iOS 7 brings a number of new functionalities to the iPhone, including improved multitasking, Keychain integration into iCloud, and Control Center, a tool that will provide easy access to often-used controls like the WiFi toggle. Apple is expected to make iOS 7 available to all iPhone users starting tomorrow.
It’s been rumored that the iWatch will include a small display, a pedometer, integration with Nike+ and Siri, and will run certain iOS apps that could make use of the watch’s compact size and ultimate portability. We won’t know much about the iWatch until tomorrow, so in the meantime we’ll just pit the iWatch against Google Glass.
iTunes Radio is a music streaming service that Apple debuted in June. Though iTunes Radio is set to come to Apple’s mobile devices along with iOS 7, Josh Lowensohn from CNET also predicts that the service will soon come to iTunes and Apple TV.
Speaking of Apple TV, Peter Kafka at AllThingsD predicts that an interesting software upgrade to the service. It’s rumored that users will soon be able to play media purchased through Apple via any other user’s Apple TV over Apple’s Airplay system and Apple’s server. This feature would make Apple TV’s case as a high-end competitor to Google’s Chromecast, though it doesn’t yet support the latter’s nifty, playback controls that work with non-Apple mobile devices.
An Improved iPad Mini
It might be a long shot, but some predict that Apple will announce the 2nd generation iPad Mini tomorrow. We have long been waiting for Apple to release a Mini with a retina display, so we will keep our hopes high!
What do you predict? Which new products and features will be announced at Apple’s press event? Share your thoughts in the comments section!
iWatch mockup via Brett Jordan