Apple will hold an event Oct. 4 to announce its fall lineup, including the iPhone 5, the release date for the new iOS 5, and possibly other product updates, according to news reports. Apple has typically unveiled its fall product line around this time.
The reports, based on unnamed sources, also indicate that new CEO Tim Cook will make his first major introduction of new products, taking the place of co-founder and former CEO Steve Jobs, who resigned in August due to health reasons. For Apple fans, seeing how Cook handles the role made famous by Jobs could be as important as what he actually presents.
Some have speculated that Phil Schiller, senior vice president of worldwide product marketing, could share the presenter role, since he has given keynote addresses at Apple conferences before. There is also speculation that Jobs himself might stop by.
The key product to be launched is expected to be the iPhone 5, and there are also reports of a lower-cost iPhone 4 model.
Ross Rubin, director of industry analysis for consumer technology at the NPD Group, noted that there has been speculation that Sprint or T-Mobile might be getting the new iPhone. He pointed out that T-Mobile has denied that rumor, but added that the Sprint rumor seemed credible.
"If Sprint does get it," Rubin said, "that could help the iPhone" in retaining or increasing its market share against the rapidly growing sales of Android phones.
Rubin noted that, on the iOS side, "various new features have already been announced," including better and more flexible notifications. One possibility that Rubin raised is that Apple might announce the availability of near-field communication chips in new models, which would enable smartphone-based credit-card transactions. He noted that the Nexus S on Sprint, and RIM's BlackBerry 9900, already sport such chips.
Will Be 'Stunning Success'
Rubin also said he wouldn't be surprised if the new iPhone "stepped up to a 4-inch screen," as there is a trend toward larger screens on smartphones.
Avi Greengart, research director at Current Analysis, said the iPod line, "which has somewhat diminished in sales and importance," still has "an element of fashion to it," so he expects to see some iPod upgrades. And, he pointed out, although "they're selling fewer iPods," they are still selling "a lot."
Greengart said the new iPhone 5 could sport a new form factor with a larger display, but, "even if the iPhone 5 has few differences, it will still be a stunning success." That is because, he said, there is a "large contingent" of consumers who want an iPhone but have been waiting for the iPhone 5.
The biggest "disruptive" announcement Apple could make, he said, would be to launch a low-cost iPhone, which could make the company's smartphone "more competitive outside the U.S."
Posted: 2011-09-23 @ 5:16pm PT
Dear iPhone 5,
Please support Flash.
Posted: 2011-09-23 @ 3:46pm PT
I really hope the iPhone 5 keeps up with the competition and is 4G capable and finally supports Flash. It seems every new phone or tablet I see commercials for is a 4G phone and most all of the 4G models coming out support Flash. Bigger display or not people will be disappointed if it's just another 3G phone with no Flash support.