It seems these days as if everyone's expecting.
"What to expect from Apple's iPhone event tomorrow," offers a headline on technology website The Verge. "THE FINAL COUNTDOWN," screams The Huffington Post. Just below is a photo of Apple CEO Tim Cook and the headline: "5 Things To Expect From Apple's Big Sept. 10 Event."
A quick spin around the news sites that cover technology reveals a web of expectations surrounding Apple's forthcoming announcement. Note the language on them all: an "event." That's what we're calling it, Tuesday's 10 a.m. P.T. press conference, which is just the latest of many in recent years when Apple is widely expected to announce, well. . . something. We never really know!
If we did, we'd call these things "iPhone Announcements," or "Apple TV Launches." But damn it, dearth of information aside, that's not going to stop us from telling you what you can expect.
The Cupertino-based company is famously coy when it comes to offering hints about upcoming products. This means all we really have to go with is our guts, and a smattering of sneakily taken smartphone photos, rumors from well-placed sources within the company's supply pipeline, and, honestly, the Apple punditry's collective blind guess.
So there's our disclaimer.
Now here's what you can expect. If you'd like to watch it live, you can. There will be a bevy of live-blogs on sites like Gizmodo, CNET, and The Verge. Then, swing back by the Beast later Tuesday afternoon to see what we got right, what we got wrong, and what just plain surprised the pundits.
1. New iPhones: It's safe to say there will be iPhones. The consensus holds that there will be an iPhone 5S. Like the iPhone 4S that came before it, the newest iteration will be a step halfway between the current iPhone 5 model and a future, yet-to-be created (or announced!) iPhone 6. The 5S will be faster. It will be smarter. The camera will be better. But it will still be an iPhone 5. Except for one more thing—it may, some people think, come in the groundbreaking color of champagne (which resembles a sun-stained lightened gold). It'll still be fairly expensive if unsubsidized, so that's where iPhone #2 comes in: the iPhone 5C. Cheaper than the 5S, the 5C is expected, as they say, to come in a range of five colors: white, blue, green, red, and yellow, and be available for less than $500. That's a price point Apple hopes will make the cheaper iPhone a must-have for millions of middle-to-higher-income Chinese and Indian consumers. Both of these, the website Mac Rumors predicts, will be available come September 20, with preorders starting September 13. As for what's inside the colorful candy shell, nobody really knows—but they're guessing it's the same as the current iPhone 5. "Little in the way of specifics on the device's internals has been leaked," Mac Rumors writes, "but the iPhone 5C is expected to essentially be an iPhone 5 wrapped in the new plastic shell."
2. iOS7: We all know what Apple's latest mobile operating system looks like because the company showed it off at an event way back in June. It's got an all-new look, an improved Notification Center, an updated Siri, tweaks to its folder functionality, and filters—Instagram-style—in its camera app, among other changes. But that's all most of us—those who aren't developers, at least—got to see. Today, we'll see the real deal. Tech pundits are looking at September 18 as the day iOS 7 will finally be set loose in the wild.
3. Updated Apple TV: Despite hopes of a revolution in home entertainment, don't bet the house on updated Apple TV hardware. Apple watchers are convinced there will be an announcement about Apple's set-top device, but nothing major. Expect updates to the little black box's software that will bring it closer in line with the style of iOS 7. This, it's possible, could mean the TV gets an App Store. It could also come along with a price cut.
4. New iPads: Nope.
5. New iPods: Your iPod nano and iPod shuffle are looking aged, so maybe it's time for a hardware update? The Salt Lake Tribune's Vince Horiuchi observes new iPods have been a part of iPhone announcements for the past few years, meaning the Robin to Apple's Batman could very well come along for a ride in Tuesday's Batmobile of Expectations. "Perhaps they will come in more colors and come with an increase in storage size, but they likely will not change in form," he predicts, before adding, "Then again, they could also phase out one or both lines altogether." Oh.
6. iMac, Macbook Pro, Mac Pro: Apple is prepping a new line of premium computers, but you likely won't see them until later this fall. Don't get too excited for a surprise at Tuesday's event. But don't go buying a new MacBook Pro either. You'll probably regret it come October.
7. Who the hell knows! Maybe this is all a play to get us those rumored Apple iWatches after all. In which case, time's up. We're ready for 'em.