On September 3rd, Apple sent out invitations to it’s rumoured September 10th event, with new iPhones, iOS 7, new Macs, and whatever else Apple has in store for us. These are our predictions for the September 10th event:
The iPhone 5S is expected to retain the impeccable two-tone design of the iPhone 5. It is, however, expected to come in Champagne and Graphite colours, in addition to the slate and silver options already present in the iPhone 5.
The camera of the iPhone 5S is expected to get a megapixel boost to either 12mp or 13mp. The size of the aperture is also expected to increase. It is also expected to improve the CMOS sensor and the imaging processor, as well as a new dual-led flash.
The iPhone 5S will get a new Apple A7 processor, which is expected to be 31% faster than last years A6, and may be bumped up to a 64-bit processor, although we have yet to see any real proof of this. The graphics of the iPhone 5S will also be improved, perhaps a more important inclusion as a result of the gamification of iOS in iOS 7. There have also been rumours of a 128 GB iPhone, and that some colours may be exclusive to that model. Apple may make 32 GB standard and keep the iPhone lineup with three storage options, or they may decide to go the way of the 128 GB iPad 4 and just add a fourth option to the lineup. Either option is feasible. As well, new radios in the iPhone 5S will probably support the AC wifi standard, as well as TD-LTE and Advanced LTE
The supposed “killer” feature of the iPhone 5S is a fingerprint sensor embedded into the home button, which may or may not result in a design change of the home button. The fingerprint sensor could help boost the security of the 5S, as well as replacing passwords in many applications for the iPhone. Hence, this could help provide Apple a new way to thrust itself into the mobile payment market, using the fingerprint sensor as a secure authenticator for purchases. This could also perhaps provide Apple a new way to unlock Macs from their iPhone, by maybe connecting the iPhone through BlueTooth to the Mac, and scanning your finger through the fingerprint sensor to unlock the phone. Of course this is all in theory, however, I believe this is a feature that could possibly blow the competition away, as many smartphones do not have the space the home button provides on the iPhone to place a fingerprint sensor. Moreover, AuthenTec was the leading provider of fingerprint sensors in the tech industry, and Samsung and others would be hard pressed to find another company that could provide the same function with the reliability and quality of AuthenTec fingerprint sensors. Therefore, I can see why many analysts have been calling this the iPhone 5S’ number one new feature.
The iPhone 5C is Apple’s realization that in emerging markets, it’s very hard to sell phones at prices that are often unsubsidized at such high prices. Hence, the iPhone 5C (at least that’s what we think it will be called) was created. Christian Zibreg from iDownloadblog makes a good point, saying:
Assuming Apple sticks to its mid-cycle S-upgrades, what is a 2014 plastic iPhone going to be called? An iPhone 5CS? An iPhone CS? An iPhone 6C? What about 2015? There should be an iPhone 6S in 2016 so what’ll they call its budget variant, an iPhone 6CS?
We know that this iPhone will have the same internals as the the best-selling iPhone of all time, the iPhone 5. However, Apple will eschew the wonderful two-tone design of the 5, which was of paramount importance to it’s sales, for polycarbonate shells in a multitude of colours. The polycarbonate shells is very scratch-resistant in comparison to the iPhone 5. The device is expected to cost around the 350$-450$ range. The iPhone 5C has been confirmed by the Wall Street Journal to be carried on the largest carrier in the world, China Mobile. Apple has never made a deal with China mobile, and with 700 million subscribers, it would be a huge boost to Apple’s bottom line.
Recent rumours swirling around, and the fact that Apple released iPads in October of last year all point to an October launch. The iPad 5 will most likely adopt the design of the iPad Mini, and it will also probably adopt the A7X processor and graphics. The iPad Mini will probably go Retina this year, with an A6X chip, and a lower-cost iPad Mini (no retina) will go on sale next year.
We haven’t seen any leaks whatsoever for any iPods, and I really don’t expect any new iPod touches unless Apple goes against it’s tradition of launching a new iPod touch every two years. A new iPod nano could be in the works, but it’s anyone’s guess what the difference will be from the previous generations. Perhaps an iPod classic refresh in which it adopts the lightning connector.
The classic MacBook Pro is likely to be discontinued by Apple this year, in favour of the Retina MacBook Pros. The update for the MacBook Pros is likely to be new Haswell (obviously) processors with Intel Iris 5100 graphics for the 13-inch and Intel Iris Pros for the 15-inch. The difference between the two is minor, with the Pro coming with 128 MB of DRAM. One thing that is commonly debated is whether or not the 15-inch will come with a discrete GPU or just stick with the iGPUs. The most likely scenario is that the 15-inch will follow in the path of the 13-inch and drop the discrete GPU, as noted by a leaked Geakbench benchmark, which did not discover a discrete GPU in the 15-inch. There have also been rumours that Apple will get some sort of special order Iris integrated GPU from Intel with more execution units and more cache, as a result of the Iris Pro being slightly less powerful then the graphics card of last year’s 15-inch, the Nvidia 650m. Also duly debated on the MacRumours is the date in which the reveal will take. There have been rumours of a September 10th event reveal. I am of the opinion that the new Retina MacBook Pros will be announced in September and launched at a later date, because we’ve seen the launch of the Mac Pro announced several months before it’s actual launch. The Retina MacBook Pro is in need of a refresh, it seems as if all the pieces are in place for a launch, or will be in place very soon, but I would think that a September 10th launch is a bit too early, and perhaps somewhere between either being launched from September 20th- 30th, or being announced in September and launched alongside the Mac Pro would be good dates for Apple. MacRumours forum member GSPice has been kind enough to allow me to use his poll on the MacRumours forum of when Apple will release the new Retina Macbook Pros, and if the 15-inch will come with a discrete GPU. Don’t expect any major design changes from last years models, the only change will most likely come from the 13-inch shaving off a few millimetres.
iMacs and Mac Minis
It is very unlikely that Apple will announce new iMacs and Mac Minis during the September 10th event, and very likely that it will be unveiled beside the new Mac Pros, as we’ve heard about zero rumours about either of these devices. These devices will gain Haswell processors and the Mac Mini could see a redesign at the October event. The iMac, coming off it’s redesign from last year will most likely not see any design changes. This also could be the year that the base 21.5″ model loses the discrete GPU in favour of the Iris Pro iGPU.
According to recent rumours, the Apple TV could go without a refresh in 2013, instead opting for a big software side upgrade, in the form of perhaps an Apple TV Appstore.
Expect Apple to reiterate iOS 7’s features. Perhaps some hidden software feature for the iPhone 5S will make an appearance, and maybe a feature for all devices that they withheld from developers. iOS 7 for the iPhone is probably going to be released to the public on September 3rd, with the iPad version coming in October.
Mavericks, according to recent rumours, will be released in October alongside the Mac Pro, iMac and Mac Minis. Expect again for Apple to reiterate the features of Mavericks, probably with less oomph then with the iOS 7 rehash.