Apple's new iPhones are coming later today, and of course ITProPortal will have full coverage of the big launch which kicks off at 18:00. We expect to see two new models, the faster, high-end iPhone 5S and the colourful, plastic-bodied 5C.
Rumours about the new iPhones have been swirling since the day after last year's iPhone 5 launched. I think some of them are off base: With all due respect to my colleague Jamie Lendino, I think we're unlikely to see larger iPhone screens or customisable home screens any time soon.
Why not? The main issue here isn't ergonomics, but app compatibility, I would venture to guess.
Some other rumours being kicked around ahead of today’s event actually concern a second iPhone shindig being held in Beijing just a short while after the big unveiling in Cupertino. It’s pretty well known that Apple has been courting China Mobile, the lone state-run carrier in China which doesn’t sell its phones.
The budget priced iPhone 5C reportedly packs Qualcomm's RF360 multimode, multiband 4G LTE chipset, which supports China Mobile’s older TD-SCDMA-based network, so don’t be surprised if Apple finally announces a partnership with the world’s largest cell phone carrier.
Now let’s get right down to it – what follows is my own list of desires and predictions for the new iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C. I'm trying to stay true to Apple's philosophy; let's see how many of these Tim Cook can pull off on stage later today.
But enough about me – what do you want to see in the new iPhones? Don't get greedy, now. Tell me in the comments section.
"C" is for carrier-free
I owe former Nokia and HTC PR guy Keith Nowak for this idea. Apple has been fighting to embed Sims in its iPhones which can be programmed for any wireless carrier. A carrier-free, grab-and-go iPhone 5C could be sold in blister packs and activated at home over the Internet, on any compatible carrier.
Barring that, let's at least see unlocked iPhones sold in Apple stores with a more aggressive range of prepaid and MVNO plans available.
iPhone 5C price
Analyst Benedict Evans has a great summary of how the iPhone 5C's price needs to be balanced to appeal to both the Chinese and US markets. Personally I think that for the US $299 (£190) is the sweet spot, especially with the growth of the prepaid market in the States. That would undercut high-end Chinese phones while still being expensive enough to afford high quality components and maintain some Apple brand cachet. All that said, though, I'm expecting the US price will be $399 (£255).
Improved radio with LTE-Advanced and 1X-Advanced
Apple's hand may be forced here, as South Korean wireless carriers are starting to require LTE-Advanced on new phones. Over in the US, Sprint would get a boost from including a CDMA 1X-Advanced chipset which supports the company's HD Voice feature. And all around, iPhones could still use better RF reception.
Faster processor on the iPhone 5S
Well, duh. Every generation, iPhone processors get faster, letting app developers do progressively more powerful and complex things. We're sure to see another bump up with the iPhone 5S. The most interesting question here is which and how many of the new bag of processor tricks Apple will dip into: More cores, faster clock speeds, distributing tasks over DSPs, pairing "big" processor cores with "little" ones to offload certain workloads and boost battery life, or something else?
Bigger camera sensor
If Apple wants to improve the iPhone's image quality, it'll need to step up from its relatively tiny 1/3.2in sensor – a tactic Sony has taken with its Xperia Z1, and also Nokia with its Lumia 1020. A bigger sensor will improve the iPhone's image quality more than a higher pixel count will, and may enable tricks like lossless digital zoom.
Tougher glass face
News flash – iPhones still crack! Whether Apple uses "sapphire glass," Gorilla Glass 3, or some other trickery, the company needs to start either slightly recessing its screens into the case, or it must continue to make them tougher. Let's hope for some sort of material advance in screen durability.
At least six colours for the iPhone 5C
If the iPhone 5C will be colourful, let's see Apple go all the way and offer enough colours to satisfy a range of different tastes. Motorola just made a big splash with Moto Maker, which lets Moto X buyers customise their phones over in the US – enough 5C colours could help dent Motorola's personalisation lead there.
Wireless charging, with Mac charging pad
Phone makers haven't been able to get wireless charging to take off, partly because it requires an ecosystem of chargers to make it work. But what if every MacBook charged an iPhone that was placed next to it?
Improved security via fingerprint scanner
The fingerprint scanner is pretty much a done deal at this point with the number of leaks we've seen.
128GB storage option
This is another no-brainer. Pack enough memory into the iPhone 5S and iPod touch, and people will stop whining about keeping all of their movies and 1.5GB high-res games on the device.
Got your watch set to count down mode ahead of Apple's big 10 September unveiling? Follow our live updating coverage of the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C launch for all the latest news and analysis and be sure to join us on the day!