Apple iPhone event: the 10 key questions
Published 04/10/2011 | 09:38
Months of waiting are almost over. Today, Apple fans will see the new iPhone. What form will it take and how powerful will it be? I don't have a secret source within Apple, sadly, but based on years of watching Apple and months of reading rumour-filled blog posts, I can offer the following guesses.
How many iPhones will Apple announce?
The first question is just how many devices are in the works. Apple is expected to launch a new iPhone, which will either be called the iPhone 5 or the iPhone 4S. The iPhone 3G, remember, was upgraded to a '3GS', which denoted an improvement in specifications but not a design overhaul. This leads us to several questions: will there be one iPhone announced tomorrow or two? If it's one, will it be called the iPhone 5 or the iPhone 4S? And if there are two, will we see an iPhone 5 and an iPhone 4S or some other combination?
My guess: Two iPhones, one of which will be called the iPhone 5.
What will the iPhone 5 look like?
Apple has done an extraordinary job of keeping this phone under wraps. Unlike last year, when the iPhone 4 ended up on a gadget blog after being lost in a bar, this year Apple has... well, it still lost one in a bar but this one hasn't ended up on a blog. So what does the new one look like? Is it wedge-shaped? Does it have curved edges? Or will it look the same as the current model, only with upgraded hardware?
My guess: the new iPhone looks the same as the iPhone 4, which is why we haven't seen any leaked parts that look different.
Will it have a bigger screen?
Along with the speculation that the new iPhone has curved edges, there have been suggestions that it has a bigger screen too. If this is true, that's likely to affect the screen ratio and pixel size of the iPhone. Will Apple still be able to boast about a 'Retina Display' if the pixel size is larger?
My guess: the screen size will stay the same.
How much storage will it have?
The iPhone has had a maximum storage size of 32GB since 2009, when the 3GS was released. Many people thought that the iPhone 4 would be bumped up to 64GB, to match the top-of-the-range iPod touch but that didn't happen. Will the storage increase this year? I'm tempted to think not, purely because Apple will push iCloud as its storage solution for demanding users. However, there have been several leaks over the last few days purporting to show references to a 64GB iPhone.
My guess: I'm not sure about this one but I'm going to say that the new iPhone will come in 64GB and 32GB models.
What about the processor?
This seems like a no brainer: pretty much every rumour over the last few months has said that the new iPhone will be powered by the same A5 chip that runs the iPad 2. I don't see any reason to think otherwise and the A5 is the main reason that I think the new phone will be called the iPhone 5.
My guess: it will be powered by an A5 processor.
Will the new iPhone have an NFC chip?
Google's Android handsets have had NFC 'wave-and-pay' technology for a while now and certainly mobile phones are the future of payments. Apple seldom jumps on new technologies early, however. It prefers to have a service in place to use them and I don't think NFC is established enough yet.
My guess: no NFC chip this time.
Will it have a better camera?
Since the first iPhone rumours emerged, the answer to this question has been the same: the new iPhone will have an 8-megapixel camera - a considerable improvement on the 5-megapixel version in the iPhone 4.
My guess: the new iPhone will have an 8MP camera.
Is there anything new to come in iOS 5?
At its Worldwide Developers Conference in June, Apple unveiled iOS 5, the next version of the operating system that runs the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. The company does this so that developers can prepare their apps to take advantage of the newest features. But will there be any new operating system features announced tomorrow? Apparently so. The suggestion is that the new iPhone will have a feature called Assistant, which embeds voice operation throughout the device. It's based on Siri, which Apple bought last year.
My guess: Assistant will be the only new iOS feature.
How much will it cost?
The 16GB iPhone 4 costs £510 from Apple and the 32GB version costs £612. Apple typically keeps its prices the same when new technology is released. So what will it do this year?
My guess: the price points will stay the same, with the 64GB model at £612 and the 32GB at £510.
What will be the release date for the new iPhone?
There has been all kinds of guesswork about the release date over the last few months. This Is My Next suggested last month that the new iPhone would go on sale on October 21. That's two-and-a-half weeks after the launch event, which seems plausible. But could Apple do it sooner?
My guess: the new iPhone will be released on October 14.