iPhone Event Predictions

Here are a few random predictions for today’s iPhone event. Who knows if they’re right, but here goes:

  • Two new iPhones, one cheap, the other expensive. The cheap one might just be an iPhone 4 with an A5 and a couple other small upgrades. I think Apple wants to fill out their price points iPod-style, and they want to do it with a new device and remove the stigma of buying “last year’s model.” I think the existence of two phones is responsible for the “iPhone 4S/iPhone 5” confusion in the rumor mills. I think both exist. (Another interesting aspect of updating the iPhone 4 is that an A5 processor would presumably allow all new iPhones to support their rumored voice assistant feature.)
  • Any new phones will have the same square design as the current iPhone 4. The square design at least partially comes from putting the antennas on the outside of the device so they can save space inside. When Steve Jobs unveiled the iPhone 4 last year, he was clearly in love with both the engineering cleverness and the overall design of the phone. The iPhone 4 has gone on to become Apple’s best selling iPhone of all time (maybe best selling product, period?). I think Apple loves the design and will keep it for at least one more generation.
  • Even if Apple does ditch the square form factor, they certainly will not release anything asymmetrical, like the “teardrop” nonsense that’s been floating around online. If it’s not square, it’ll have a tapered edge like the iPad and iPod Touch.
  • The new phones will have some new software camera feature, similar to adding HDR to iOS 4. Maybe panoramas or something similar?
  • The new phones will be available one week from Friday, October 14.
  • iOS 5 GM will be released today (if not today, certainly within the week), but it will be released to the public around the same time as the next iPhone. Releasing the GM soon will give Apple time to accept iOS 5-enabled apps so that enough are approved by the time iOS 5 and the new phones ship.
  • Tim Cook will MC the event. Steve Jobs won’t appear publicly (I hope I’m wrong about this.)
  • The iPod lineup will not change at all.

This doesn’t cover everything. I believe the Sprint and voice assistant rumors, for example. These are the rumors that are most interesting to me, and about which I think it’s possible to make educated guesses. I believe there will be at least 2 or 3 other “tentpole features” available only with the new device, but I obviously have no idea what those are. Apple did an amazing job of keeping the iCloud features secret before announcing them public, and it looks like they’ve done the same thing here.