Next-gen iPhone: It's nothing without iOS, iCloud

The next-generation iPhone may be everyone's focus, but it's what is inside that matters, not the hardware itself.

Ahead of today's iPhone announcement comes an odd comparison between the academic community and the up and coming, next-generation Apple smartphone.

It isn't about the hardware the iPhone runs on, it's what is inside that matters.

Take the academic. Sir Ken Robinson, famed for his TED talk, describes academics as extraordinary thinkers. But their heads are the most important asset they possess, and their bodies are merely a transporting mechanism for their heads. The two are connected but seemingly independent; the head treats the body as a free taxi ride to wherever their head needs to be.

The iPhone is equally similar, in that the device itself is merely a slave to what is inside. Though we know very little about the device itself, there is all but no argument that the smartphone will be running Apple's most advanced mobile operating system to date: iOS 5.

(Source: Getty Images, Justin Sullivan)

So what can we expect from today's announcement? Probably an emerging market focused iPhone 4S, with the iPhone 5 coming next year, or at very least before the upcoming holiday season.

Hedging on the side of caution, it is equally possible the devices are one of the same; muddled amongst the confusion of different naming styles and patterns. Bets are on that the device, if it is indeed an emerging market device, will be physically similar to that of previous models -- particularly the iPhone 4.

Why, you may ask. Frankly, the hardware upgrades expected to make iOS 5 run smoothly and with full gusto expected from the consumer market is only to ensure that the new software and cloud-based technologies are as functional as can be.

Simply put: the iPhone itself is not as important as the more powerful component to the consumer end of things, as well as Apple's ongoing business strategy. Ensuring that iOS 5 and iCloud 'made possible' is the most important objective Apple has in the next few months and coming year.