Apple is reportedly gearing up to host a press event on Sept. 10 in San Francisco. The company hasn't yet issued invites, though numerous news outlets have stated confirmation of the date through various sources. Judging by the insane amount of leaks recently, Apple's going to discuss the iPhone and iOS 7 in a lot of detail. What are we expecting? We can dig through a lot of the leaks recently to get a general idea.
The iPhone 5S is likely the successor to the iPhone 5. The naming follows a trend Apple has set in the past, as it moved from the iPhone 3G to the iPhone 3GS and eventually from the iPhone 4 to the iPhone 4S. We probably won't see many changes on the surface of the hardware. Leaked parts suggest the phone will largely resemble the current iPhone 5, however, we're expecting some minor cosmetic updates.
Apple may include a fingerprint reader under the home button, presumably as an added security feature but possibly for something else… maybe mobile payments much further down the road. We've also seen enough leaks to feel confident that Apple is planning to release four colors of the iPhone 5S, including the typical black and white models, in addition to a new champagne color and possibly a graphite option with black accents as well.
Apple will likely boost the processor under the hood of the iPhone 5S, as it usually does for updates. We're expecting a faster A7 chip, possibly with a 30 percent performance boost over the chip in the iPhone 5. Additionally, Apple could tweak the camera sensor with a new chip, though it's expected we'll still see an 8-megapixel shooter. Perhaps we'll see software processing tweaks to help boost the end result of the photos, too. Speaking of the camera, most leaks suggest we'll see a dual-LED flash instead of the single LED flash on the iPhone 5.
As for pricing, we expect the iPhone 5S will follow the same pricing scheme as before, though with added storage options. The 32GB model could come in at $199 while rumors suggest a 128GB iPhone could land on the high end.
I myself once argued that it didn't make sense for Apple to launch a new, cheaper iPhone. The idea seemed to completely contradict Apple's history of just dropping the price of its older models. I'm not afraid to admit when I'm wrong, and it looks like I was in this case. Plenty of leaked images suggest Apple is hard at work on an entry-level iPhone.
The device will probably be largely targeted at emerging markets where the cost of the iPhone 5S is too high for the average consumer. Apple has been in talks with China and the world's largest wireless carrier, China Mobile, so we wouldn't be surprised to see it end up there. That would be China Mobile's first iPhone launch, and could help Apple make headway into the Chinese smartphone business where Android is running away with the market. In fact, by some estimates, it could help boost Apple's share by as much as 13 percent, putting it as a top smartphone contender with Samsung. From a business perspective, it makes perfect sense for Apple to do whatever it can to enter this arena. China Mobile, for example, has more than 700 million wireless subscribers. That's twice the population of the United States on one carrier alone.
The iPhone 5C will, according to leaked parts, come in a variety of colors including possibly black, white, red, yellow, blue and green. We've seen Lightning port connectors and it looks like the phone will have a rear camera with a single LED flash. To keep costs down, its likely the phone will offer a lower-end processor than the iPhone 5S, but it should at least work as a great portal to get new customers into Apple's ecosystem of apps, music, videos and more.
iOS 7 Discussion
iOS 7 is moving along well in beta form. We're already on iOS 7 beta 6, and the next release could very well be the final gold master (GM). If so, that would be the last release before Apple publishes iOS 7 to the public. It's still possible we'll see some surprises hidden in the operating system, which Apple could discuss during its rumored Sept. 10 press conference. For example, the fingerprint reader will very likely have its own software. Apple could also talk about other changes, add last minute UI swaps and make other minor tweaks.
Apple will need to reignite passion for iOS in some regard. Google and its OEM partners are doing some fantastic things with Android and, while iOS is still amazing in its own right, it seems slightly less powerful in a lot of ways. I think Apple will address these concerns on Sept. 10, likely with enhancements to Siri that make the system feel more powerful than ever.
Add in the beefier processor, and Apple's also likely to discuss what developers have been doing with the added power. I imagine game developers will take the stage to show off what the graphics processor is capable of, for example. According to a recent leak from Nuance, the developer behind Siri, Apple will publish iOS 7 to the public on the day of its press conference.
OS X Mavericks Talk
I don't know if Apple's going to discuss OS X Mavericks on Sept. 10. It's possible this will be reserved for another event, maybe later in the year when it introduces new iPads. Though, if it does discuss OS X Mavericks, perhaps we'll be treated to an overview of new features that have been added as the software has moved through its beta stage. We might also be treated to news on a launch date.
I think it will be important for Apple to also discuss how OS X Mavericks and iOS 7 are beginning to mash together in some regard. We saw this with iMessage integration into Mountain Lion, for example, and it only makes sense for Apple to continue to make the push to merge the two platforms in some fashion, though not completely.
Sept. 10, if that is indeed the date, is going to be a busy day. The highlight of the show is going to be the iPhone 5S on the surface, but we should really pay attention to the iPhone 5C. That's where Apple could see a lot of growth over the coming years as it enters markets that it hasn't ever been in before. We're talking about the potential for hundreds of millions of new sales.
Even still, for smartphone fanatics the spotlight will be on the iPhone 5S. We're excited to see whether or not a fingerprint reader makes its debut and what it's going to be used for. We also want to see what's new with iOS 7 and how the camera is changing. We'll be covering the event closely all day.