While Apple could certainly change its plans anytime, sources said that the Oct. 4 date has been selected by the company to showcase the iPhone 5. Sources added that the plan is now to make the new device available for purchase within a few weeks after the announcement.
It's a Tuesday which is generally Apple's preferred day for media events, so that checks out, but there's a wrinkle. TechRepublic Chief Jason Hiner points out that Moscone Center -- the site of previous Apple announcements - like WWDC 2011 -- is booked for an Oracle event on October 4th. Also, no invitations have been received by the press to this point, although they should be appearing any day now.
...while consumers will be looking for the new iPhone, as the highly anticipated Christmas and holiday season seller of the year, analysts and journalists will be looking at Tim Cook, who replaced Steve Jobs over the summer after he resigned from the company.
All eyes will be on Mr. Cook after officially taking the reigns from CEO Steve Jobs in August. How will he do? Most likely, he'll be the same as he ever was, so those expecting to see Steve Jobs incarnate will be disappointed. Let's all give him a chance to be the full-fledged CEO for a little while before the inevitable comparisons to the mercurial (and irreplaceable) Steve Jobs.
So what will Apple announce?
The iPhone 5, iOS 5 and iCloud (including iTunes Match) are expected to be the main event, as is some sort of iPhone lite (nee iPhone 4S). I think that we could also see more content partnerships with more book and magazine publishers to help bolster the flagging iBooks and barron Newsstand apps. An updated iPod touch has also been floated, as have any number of predictions about iTunes, TV, movies and media in general.
I'll also go on record that iWork '12 will take a bow at the event, with complete iCloud integration across re-vamped Mac OS and iOS apps.