Handicapping Apple's September 1 event; a rumor recap

Apple will be holding a "special event" for the media on September 1, 2010 in San Francisco at 10AM PT, 1PM ET (invitation above courtesy of Engadget) -- ZDNet will be covering it live.Traditionally the event focuses on iPods, but what Apple will specifically announce is anyone's guess.

Apple will be holding a "special event" for the media on September 1, 2010 in San Francisco at 10AM PT, 1PM ET (invitation above courtesy of Engadget) -- ZDNet will be covering it live.

Traditionally the event focuses on iPods, but what Apple will specifically announce is anyone's guess. The only hint is the graphic on the invitation which shows an acoustic guitar with an Apple logo cutout instead of the traditional round hole.

Here's what's been rumored to arrive in my order of probability:

Likely

  • iPod touch (fourth-generation) - The "iTouch" will receive a new industrial design inherited from the iPhone 4, front and rear cameras, FaceTime, Retina Display and Apple A4 processor.
  • iOS 4.1 - After being in beta for a while, the long-awaited update to iOS will ship with proximity bug fixes and better performance on the iPhone 3G.
  • Game Center - John Gruber thinks that Game Center will make its triumphant return in the 4.1 and "will help reinforce the image of the iPod Touch as a mobile gaming device (and the App Store as a gaming platform) going into the holidays." GameCenter also is expected to require an iPhone 3GS and third-generation iPod touch dropping support for older models.

Possible

  • Apple TV/iTV - The Apple TV is expected to lose its hard drive and run on iOS 4.1. This means that the App Store and GameCenter will be coming to a TV near you soon. Think about the possibilities with that for a minute. Apple TV could make a great networked game platform to challenge the more traditional gaming consoles and PCs.
  • FaceTime could be Apple TVs killer app. I David Gewirtz's theory on this. Think about the Apple TV with networked gaming, FaceTime video calls and the breadth and depth of the App Store. The Apple TV could be the a huge trojan horse rolling into your living room.

Unlikely

  • iOS 4.1 for iPad - I'm putting this into unlikely because, as Gruber deftly notes, Apple hasn't release released a single beta to developers. He thinks that Apple is going to wait until iOS 4.2 (which is "coming late in the calendar year") to unify its devices.
  • Cloud-based, streaming iTunes Music - Probably not, but I agree with WSJ that Apple could add social features to iTunes, which are frankly, long overdue.

What do you think?

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