After several months of speculation and wild rumors the unveiling of the new iPhone is finally in sight.
Apple has issued invitations to an 4 October press event at the company headquarters in Cupertino. As a break from the past, the company announced specifically the nature of the event rather than keeping it vague and up to the speculators to guess the proceedings. The invite is emblazoned with the sentence “Let’s talk?iPhone“?with four app icons indicating the time, date and location, as well as the subject. The badge on the phone icon is believed to be a hint that Apple only has one new phone to show, but some forecasters are predicting there maybe new two models at the launching ceremony.
Apple is already running a bit behind its yearly iPhone schedule. The reasons for the delay are not known though some attribute it to the delayed spring release of the white iPhone 4. Others say it was the slow process of manufacturing tens of millions of iPhone 5 handsets.
The iPhone will be the first upgrade since Steve Jobs resigned as the CEO of the company last month. As per industry experts, the new CEO Tim Cook will come under increased scrutiny by investors and tech experts.
?The iPhone is the most important product line in the company,? said Shaw Wu, an analyst at Sterne Agee & Leach Inc. ?Cook will be heavily watched because he didn?t typically participate in major product introductions in his former role,” Wu added.
iPhone sales account to about half of Apple’s total revenues. The huge demand for Apple products has helped catapult Apple ahead of Exxon Mobil Corp. as the world?s most valuable company, albeit for a brief period.
The expectation of the new iPhone is phenomenal. Experts are hoping to see better camera, faster processor, robust networking technology, improved graphics performance, and a potentially light and thin handset.
The upgrade of operating system to iOS 5 will also an added feature in the new iPhone, which includes a new notification system. The company also said in June that it will debut iCloud, which lets users wirelessly access music, pictures and other files from different Apple devices.
The additional rumours suggest the new model will have a slightly larger screen than the existing iPhone 4, and may include an NFC (near field communication) chip which would enable it to be used with payment services such as Google’s Wallet service.
That would allow it to compete with Google’s Nexus S phone, released at the end of December, which also contains an NFC chip, and other forthcoming phones from handset makers.
According to Mike Abramsky, an analyst at Toronto-based RBC Capital Markets, the new iPhone could be Apple?s best-selling product yet, and forecasts Apple to sell as many as 110 million iPhones.
Apple has been under pressure to launch new iPhone models faster as rivals including Samsung Electronics Co. and HTC Corp. introduce competing smartphones using Google Inc.?s Android operating system.
?A year and a half, especially in the smartphone product cycle, is many lifetimes,? said Ashok Kumar, an analyst at Rodman & Renshaw LLC in New York.
Gene Munster, an analyst at Piper Jaffray, in a research report said the new model may include voice-recognition software. He speculated that the ?Let?s Talk iPhone? wording of the invite may refer to such speech-based features. Apple acquired a speech-recognition software company named Siri last year.
Munster also speculated that the new iPhone probably won?t be less expensive than the current model, which is sold to wireless carriers for $600. Service providers generally subsidise the price for customers. Instead of making the phone cheaper, Apple is likely to drop the price of the current model iPhone to give consumers a more affordable alternative, he added.
Source: Bloomberg, Telegraph, Guardian