With the invitation (right) now sent to the tech press for an iPhone-focused event on 4 October, I can say I was mostly right and a little bit wrong with my predictions on the release of a new iPhone. From my August 16th post:
"This September announcement will have an immediate impact on iPhone 4 sales. Every newspaper in the world, pretty much, will report this unveiling.
"The new phone will then go on sale in October. Worldwide. Boom."
Apple's invitation clearly signals a new iPhone, but at this time we don't know what it will be like.
I believe this post by John Gruber that suggests if Apple could have had more news to share in September, they would have, it's just taken longer than planned.
If Apple could have made its iPhone announcement this month — September — I think they would have. I think they went into October because it took longer to get everything in order: hardware production, iOS 5, iCloud.
Because Apple never publicises its plans, nobody can criticise (does that make sense, RIM CEOs?)
More interestingly, we don't know if there'll be one new iPhone (and the invitation can be interpreted that way), or whether there'll be two.
Rumours, lovely rumours, offer two theories:
- Apple will release a brand new 'iPhone 5', featuring the design that 'leaked' a while back (right). It will have an A5 processor, bigger screen, bigger batttery (to help offset the other upgrades' power needs), 8MP camera and will be slimmer (über important!). I like the idea of this iPhone 5. It looks great, up to date, and can easily hold a fight with the newest Android slabs.
As part of this event, Apple will release a reengineered iPhone 4, that's cheaper and thus will allow Apple to hit lower end markets, with a great product, hit back at the glut of cheap Android phones, and provide an incredible product for that market place. There have been clues to this strategy.
- Apple will simply release an upgraded iPhone '4s', much like the 3GS, which is still faster with an A5 chip,8PM camera and possibly cheaper to manufacture, but it will still be the same design.
The focus of the event next week will be on this upgraded phone, and iOS 5 which will launch around the same time.
They could also drop the price of the iPhone 3GS to be very low (must be super cheap to make now, considering it didn't cost much originally), and that will provide the low-cost option, perhaps even for pre-paid.
I'll be honest and say I would love to see a cheaper iPhone 4, and a brand new iPhone 5 in the design mockups we've seen (theory #1). But there's a lot of talk to suggest that won't be the case, and theory #2 is more likely.
If we do see a genuine iPhone 5, I'll certainly be a happy camper.
If we only see a warmed up iPhone 4s, well, I think my next phone will not be an iPhone.
Apple has drawn this release out very long. The Google-led competition, with the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S2 and Note, not to mention the pending release of the Samsung Nexus Prime a week after the Apple event, are leaving any potential iPhone '4s' in the dust. It just wouldn't cut it for me, even with 'iCloud'.
So, we'll see. Don't you love speculation? I'll leave you with the fact that if there's only an iPhone 4s, that's going to be a rather weak launch event for Apple's newly minted CEO. That's probably the only thing that's making me think a proper iPhone 5 (theory #1) could be on the cards.