Expectations for Apple's September Media Event
Matthew is a member of The Motley Fool Blog Network -- entries represent the personal opinion of the blogger and are not formally edited.
As reported by numerous blogs a few days ago, Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) is scheduled to have a media event on Sept. 12. Like with all Apple events, rumors and speculation are rampant. Discussion about likely announcements, reportedly leaked parts and new product introductions are part of the typical pattern of these types of events. And this upcoming event is no different. So what can we expect from Apple about a month from now?
(Unless otherwise stated, all of this below is still just rumor and speculation.)
Set to be released on Friday, Sept. 21, the iPhone 5 will run the latest version of Apple’s mobile operating system, iOS 6. The phone’s screen will be 4-inches tall versus the previous screen size of all other iPhones, 3.5-inches. The exact measurements of the entire device will be 58.47 mm wide, 123.83 mm tall and 7.6mm thin. The phone will also feature a significantly smaller dock connector than the current 16-pin standard found on all current Apple mobile devices (the new connector will be about the size of a micro-USB dock). This will make all current accessories that make use of the current 16-pin standard obsolete (without some kind of adapter). And lastly, the headphone jack will be moved from the top-left of the phone to the bottom-right.
Presumed to be released shortly after the iPhone 5’s release is the introduction of a new member to the iPad family, the iPad Mini (as it has become unofficially known as). As the name suggests, the iPad Mini is a smaller version of the immensely popular iPad tablet. The iPad Mini will feature a 7.85-inch screen, fitting in nicely between the iPod Touch and the iPad. In addition to being smaller than the current iPad, it will also be significantly cheaper than it as well. Most sources seem to indicate a $299 price point for the base model of the device. This price point will allow it to compete with the similarly sized tablet offerings of the Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) Kindle Fire tablet and the Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) Nexus 7 tablet (both 7-inch tablets priced at $199). The iPad Mini itself is expected to be very similar to the current iPad in terms of function and features, just smaller.
iPod Touch, iPod Nano, iPod Shuffle
Long overdue for a proper update is Apple’s entire line of iPods. The previous product refresh last year amounted to nothing more than a software update, keeping the identical hardware around for an additional year. For this product cycle the iPod Touch will receive a similar size increase to the iPhone 5, with a 4-inch screen (up from 3.5-inches). That is where the similarities with the iPhone 5 will end, as the iPod Touch internals will be based on the iPhone 4's internals. This means the A5 processor found in the 4S, rather than the more powerful processor that will be found in the iPhone 5.
There are not many specifics about the iPod Nano and Shuffle. There is a minor rumor that the Nano might have a rectangular body rather than the current square body, as well as bringing back the camera they removed a few years ago. Additionally, there may or may not be some unspecified dedicated iTunes services for the Nano. Not too much to go on there.
Announced in June with a beta version already released to the public, the latest version of Apple's mobile operating system is the only thing not rumored. The confirmed and verifiable features of iOS 6 included improved Siri-capabilities (Apple’s voice assistant app). Siri will have additional languages, dialects and country-localization features. Siri will also now be able to connect directly to more sources of information, including the NFL and other sports leagues for information and built-in Yelp (NYSE: YELP) restaurant reviews. Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) will also find its way into iOS 6. Similar to what Apple and Twitter did last year with iOS 5, Facebook will be integrated directly into the operating system. This will allow Facebook to sync directly your Apple contacts and calendar, as well as Share and Like content directly from your iOS device.
Other new features of iOS 6 include Passbook (an app that manages boarding passes, moving tickets, loyalty cards, etc.) and Apple’s new Map app, replacing the Google-sourced map data found in all previous iterations of iOS with Apple's own map data.
There you go. There is the brief synopsis of what to expect from the Sept. 12 event. It is important to remember that, with the exception of iOS 6, all of this is still just rumor and speculation. Even the date and the event itself is only a rumor at this point (though an extremely likely rumor). So take all of this with a grain of salt.
See you on Sept 12.
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