What will Apple unveil at the iPhone 6 event next week?

What will Apple unveil at the iPhone 6 event next week?

Summary: So just what does Apple have in store for us next week? New iPhones? iWatch? iOS 8? OS X Yosemite?

TOPICS: Mobility, Apple, iOS, iPhone
(Image: CNET)

With a week to go until Apple is expected to unveil the long-expected and much-discussed iPhone 6, the rumor mill is being dialed up to 11. In this piece I want to take a more careful and conservative look at things, and see if we can't bring expectations levels back down to planet earth.

What do we officially know so far?

The iPhone is both the single most popular smartphone, and the single most profitable. By far.

Very little. In fact, almost nothing.

We know that Apple is to hold an event on September 9, and that event will be held in Apple's home city of Cupertino, California at the Flint Center for the Performing Arts, the venue where the Mac was originally unveiled back in 1984.

That's it. Feel free to stare at the official invite like it's one of those magic eye pictures and see what you think it means. Personally, I've got better things to do with my time.

OK, what about educated guesses then?

Apple has already lifted the veil of secrecy off iOS 8 and OS X 10.10 Yosemite, so we know that there are software refreshes on the way. These are going to form part of the event.

Historically, this is also the time of year when Apple releases a new iPhone too, and given this along with all the supply chain chatter I'm hearing, I'm confident that a new iPhone will be announced.

And for now I'm speculatively calling this new handset iPhone 6.

What do we know about the iPhone 6?

Officially, nothing.

OK, what educated guesses can we make?

The sensible money says the new iPhone will sport a 4.7-inch display to allow it to better compete with products from Samsung, LG, HTC and Sony.

A second new iPhone with a larger 5.5-inch screen has also been rumored.

It's also possible that Apple will also have an iPhone with a 4-inch display, perhaps as an update for the iPhone 5c.

The iPhone 6 will run iOS 8.

Performance-wise, if the iPhone 6 follows the patterns set down by previous releases, then we can expect performance to double that of the current iPhone 5s, at least by Apple's benchmarks. In terms of the actual hardware, we will likely have to wait for a teardown before we find out what actually makes the new version tick because Apple is usually pretty guarded about hardware specs.

I've seen a lot of photos of what claim to be "leaked parts" but in my experience it is almost impossible to separate out fact from fiction.

I expect the pricing structure to remain the same as with the iPhone 5s, and that the base model with start at 16GB, the cramped storage people an incentive to shell out an extra $100 for ten buck worth of storage.

A premium-priced 128GB version may join the lineup at the top end.

There's a pretty strong rumor circulating that Apple has signed a deal with Amex, MasterCard and Vista to bring some sort of wallet feature to the iPhone. This does fit in with information I've been getting from the supply chain, but I'm skeptical that this will use the NFC standard that Google has been pushing.

I'm seeing the iPhone 6 as an evolutionary step, rather than a big revolutionary redefinition of the handset. The look and feel might change, but Apple isn't going to recklessly make crazy changes like Microsoft did with Windows 8. After all, the iPhone is both the single most popular smartphone, and the single most profitable. By far.

And people will buy it.

All the iPhone 6 needs to do is keep Apple ahead of the competition for a year, not be the smartphone of the decade. And coming up with hardware that can do that is all about balancing out a number of variables.

What about the iWatch?

I have to be honest and say that I'm hazy about the iWatch (something I will expend upon in another piece), but here are some thoughts to bear in mind.

The Apple event is going to be around a couple of hours long (you have to factor in people's attention spans and their bladder capacities), and this doesn't seem enough time for Apple to do the self congratulating bit that forms part of thee events, talk about iOS 8 and OS X 10.10 Yosemite, unveil the iPhone 6 and then go on to unveil and announce a whole new class of product.

This suggests one of the following:

  • No iWatch unveiling at this event
  • A teaser, with the full unveiling to come later
  • The iWatch is a simple accessory for the iPhone that needs little in the way of introduction

If I were a betting man, I'd put a dollar on an iWatch teaser being thrown to us at next week's event, followed by a full launch later in the year, possibly coinciding with the expected iPad refresh.

What about a new Mac/iPod/iPad/iDogbrush?

Probably not. remember, Apple has to cram all this into a couple of hours.

Will the event be streamed?

No idea.

Topics: Mobility, Apple, iOS, iPhone

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  • Only a third of an article on the iWatch?

    I'll forgive you, and not add it to the 38 previous ZDnet speculative articles on the iWatch.

    But I hope someone's counting the speculative articles about iPhone 6. Must be in the 20s by now.

    Why doesn'r ZDnet save cash by commissioning one, and republishing it every 3 days? Just askin'
  • iMac

    looking at the image, it is obviously a wall mounted iMac... :-P
  • Who cares?

    Seriously, who cares what Apple may or may not be announcing? Only the dying breed of fanbois.

    So iPhone 6 will be another 64-bit phone running iOS8, a 32-bit OS. Oh wow how exciting! Not.

    4.7 or 5.5 inch screens? So what, already been done.

    Apple is just turning into another Blackberry, rubbish products for teens.
    Lord Minty
    • Your rediculous Lord Minty

      Firstly, like it or not, even if its not for you personally, the iPhone is a perfectly fine device. I don't know any iPhone users for one thing that have ever expressed any unhappiness. I had one and it worked as well as I could have ever expected.

      On the other hand, practically every Android user I have known has expressed some frustration at one time or another. One in particular I am quite close to expresses frustration with her LG Optimus G quite often.

      This whole notion of "a rubbish product for teens" is obviously ludicrous.

      Your criticism is so over the top and without merit it deserves nothing more than dismissal.
      • Okay...

        Let's say the iPhone6 comes with NFC as has been proposed by some of the rumour machine...

        Yep, box is already ticked, already been done with the Samsung Galaxy *S2* of 2011.

        And regarding "I don't know any iPhone users for one thing that have ever expressed any unhappiness." - You have seen the research done into this haven't you?

        Try looking up 'confirmation bias' - it's a very common element in teenagers lives as they try to 'fit in' to popular social groupings, you know, like iPhone users do.
        Lord Minty
  • Too bad BLOG posts don't get proofed/edited like news articles.

    Good content, but:

    "Personally, I've got better things to do with my time." Like proof reading? :-)

    "...see if we can't bring expectations levels back..."
    "...the base model with start at 16GB..."
    "...start at 16GB, the cramped storage people an incentive..."
    "...signed a deal with Amex, MasterCard and Vista to bring..."
    • Ya, agreed.

      I found myself stumbling all over reading that. I think I got the message, but one could only hope because it was kind of like chicken scratches for a minute there.
  • Not a Fanboy today

    As an ex-iPhone, current iPad "Fanboy", I now buy strictly for the utility of the technology, not for fashion statement. Since I have both the Android & Apple environments, so it will be easy for me to pick the best choice in a large screen smart-phone within the next 60 days. I must say that I have been very disappointed watching Apple try to play catchup over the past two years. It is really sad. IOS 7 may catch up with useful capabilities long present in Android as Apple devotees applaud with gleeful excitement. Hardware featuring gold-colored metal cases, indestructible glass, no MiCro SD, and no removable battery is of limited interest to me. Frankly, I hope that Apple does something surprising next week to make me want opt for an iPhone 6 instead of the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 or Nexus 6. Unfortunately, based on all the leaks of what may be revealed this month, the iPhone may fall short again. Come on Apple, I want the iPhone to be "the next big thing."
  • Apple as a company has pursued a flawed agenda in one respect.

    Apple has tried more so than any other company to force the purchasers, hence users of its products to leave behind common and loved pieces of hardware and technology in favor of using the Apple system of doing things that would allow you to do much the thing you do with Windows or Linux but only through the Apple environment and system. This is a true measure of environment lock in that isn't really fair or reasonable to the unsuspecting public.

    Get rid of USB drives, get rid of DVD drives, put everything you have into Apple storage and get everything you use form Apple resources.

    Its a perfect example of exactly why the cloud is generally an intolerably bad idea for consumers.

    We sit around here preaching to each other all the time about how and why we thing people should switch operating systems as things are today.

    Many point out that's not so easy when you have gotten used to specific software and operating systems, and what of specific games or software that may not be available or have sufficiently workable duplicate software for its OS to do the same kind of job.

    And all this hubbub is still largely in our current system where people own their own DVD's and often have all their own data stored on their own HD's and can access it all, generally speaking even when their internet is down.

    Now imagine trying to convince someone that they should move their entire computing experience from one complete environment to another. I can guarantee you that most people would probably go from reluctant to obstinate if basically everything they have is on someone elses cloud drives in someone elses environment.

    Just seems obvious to me.
  • iDogbrush?

    In all seriousness, how much will the iPhone 5s, new or used, drop in price once iPhone6 is released?