The months of speculation, rumor mongering, crystal ball peering and analyst predictions are almost over as Apple on Tuesday confirmed there will be an iPhone-related special media event taking place come next Tuesday.
The Apple PR folks have just treated a cherry-picked group of journos to the official invitation for the forthcoming September 10 event.
The high-profile press conference will be held at the company’s Cupertino, California headquarters at 10am Pacific / 1PM Eastern. The invite graphics shows colorful circles behind the Apple logo and is adorned with the tagline that simply reads, “This should brighten everyone’s day”.
As per usual, the invitation’s design has prompted a scavenger hunt for subtle hints and hidden meanings so do fell free to join the game down in the comments…
The allegedly strictly iPhone-focused event should see a rumored S-upgrade, the iPhone 5S, along with a rumored budget iPhone, the iPhone 5C. Despite Tim Cook’s doubling down on secrecy, a myriad of leaks have been increasing coming our way in the run-up to the big reveal.
The iPhone 5S should adopt the two-tone design of its predecessor, the current-generation iPhone 5, but with a dash of freshness in the form of colorized casings that may include agraphite and gold/champagne colorway.
Typical for Apple’s mid-cycle phone upgrades, the iPhone 5S should keep customers interested by offering a faster A7 chip, a new 128GB storage flavor and iSight camera improvements stemming from a 12 or 13-megapixel CMOS sensor, improved night shooting and super slow motion video capture at 120 frames per second.
The handset’s killer feature should be fingerprint scanning, stemming from last year’s acquisition of Israeli smart sensor maker AuthenTec for the reported $356 million.
According to the rumor-mill, fingerprint scanning will permit users to authenticate themselves into the handset – perhaps even their apps and websites – just by holding their finger over the sapphire-covered Home button.
On top of killing passwords, the feature should bolster up the iPhone’s security and pave the way for a rumored transactional mobile payment service from Apple. As for the elusive budget iPhone, it too will come in a range of vivid colors, but don’t count on it costing just $99 off-contract, as Reuters speculated.
Instead, analysts are expecting a mid-range device priced between $400 and $500 unsubsidized, though a two-year contract should reduce the upfront payment to $99. The best way to describe the iPhone 5C: it’s an iPhone 5 redesigned around the cheaper (andmore scratch resistant) polycarbonate plastic casing.
Both handsets are expected to go on sale ten days later, on September 20, in the United States, UK, Canada, Japan and other key international markets. On the other hand, Apple is thought to be releasing iOS 7 for public consumption right after it wraps up next Tuesday’s press conference.
In addition to the obvious iPhone focus, analysts are predicting a blockbuster Fall for Apple.
It’s fairly possible the company could slip in a few other surprises and product upgrades, including a Haswell-powered iMac refresh and a faster 802.11ac edition of the AirPort Express wireless appliance.
Indeed, both US Apple Stores and third-party retailers such as Best Buy seem to be experiencing a diminishing stock of the AirPort Express and iMacs, according toAppleInsider.
So, the new iPhones…
Having you been able to discern anything from the invite graphics?