Apple's iPhone launch event is all set to kick off later today at 18:00, and of course ITProPortal will be covering it. We're pretty sure that we're going to see an iPhone 5S and an iPhone 5C – a faster and cheaper iPhone, respectively. The 5S will be faster, and probably have a fingerprint reader. The 5C will have a colourful plastic case, and will be easier on the wallet.
Two new iPhones may very well take up 90 minutes at Apple's headquarters, but they've been leaked out broadly enough that I wouldn't be surprised if Apple is keeping a surprise in reserve. Here are some ideas for what else could take up time on stage later today.
The iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C
Just to repeat, that's what we're there to see.
The event will be the official coming-out party for iOS 7, Apple's new mobile OS, and the first one truly designed for high resolution screens. Apple will run over iOS 7's features and spend extra time on key features it didn't mention at June's WWDC event, such as FaceTime voice calling and Hotspot 2.0. For more on iOS 7, see our quick look video here.
The A7 processor
Apple's new processor won't just power the iPhone 5S – it's sure to be at the heart of the next iPads as well. Apple will spend some time comparing it directly to the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 800, Nvidia Tegra 4 and Intel Atom processors – without using the competitors' names, of course.
The top iPhone rumour last week concerned China Mobile, the world's largest wireless carrier with more than 700 million subscribers. Various press reports say that Apple has finally closed a deal to have China Mobile carry the iPhone 5C, and there's a special Apple event in Beijing nine hours after the Cupertino event. Apple could spotlight the potential China Mobile presents. A similar event in Tokyo may presage Japan's largest carrier, NTT DoCoMo, joining the iFold.
New iPod touch and nano
This is entirely possible. The 32GB/64GB iPod touch and most recent nano were released at the same time as the iPhone 5, and it would make sense for Apple to include some of the 5S and 5C's key features – whatever they are – in the iPod touch. That way, app developers can write for as few platforms as possible, and keeping app developers happy has always been a major goal of Apple's.
One of the big reasons to retire the iPhone 4 and 4S in favour of the new 5C is to get all of Apple's devices using the new Lightning docking and charging port, which hasn't generated the kind of accessory buzz that the old 30-pin port did. Apple could bring out some partners to show that the Lightning accessory market is now really getting started.
This probably won't happen, as from what we've heard, there will be a separate iPad event in October just like last year. That said, Apple really needs to update its iPad line-up, especially with a higher resolution iPad mini to compete with the fast growing sector of 7in and 8in Android and Windows 8 tablets. Lowering the existing mini's price so it’s closer to £200, while introducing a higher resolution model at nearer the £300 mark would help Apple's fortunes.
Macs, laptops, iTV, iWatch…
Well, these are all pretty unlikely for this event. Last year, Apple saved the new Macs for the October iPad event. I can only see new Macs appearing here if they have some key feature which works with the new 5C, such as a fingerprint reader or a built-in wireless charging pad.
There haven't been any recent signs that Apple has broken its impasse with the cable companies and content providers to make its television set happen. Of this bunch, the iWatch is the most possible "one more thing" – but seeing the clunkiness of Samsung's Galaxy Gear and Qualcomm's Toq, I wouldn't be surprised if Apple sat out of this market for one more year.