October 4th Apple Event: My Prediction.

So, every time Apple holds a major event, I like to try to guess what they will announce based on rumors and my guess. This worked great back when Apple announced the iPad (even though I guessed it would be the iSlate) and not so good when I missed most of the stuff about the iPad 2. I don’t have any sources, just like to read the different posts about tech and possibilities from rumor sites. Although not official yet, the date of October 4th is out there. [Edit: Guess it’s Official Oct 4th is on.] If there are any hang ups, things could get put off a bit, but we have been hearing about the Fall announcement for some time. What will Apple Announce?

iOS5: This one is a no brainer. It’s supposed to release in Fall. October is Fall. The interwebz say that the Gold Master of the mobile software is supposed to drop this week. I’d be shocked in iOS5 wasn’t rolled out with this announcement. [Edit: Still no Gold Master of iOS5. There has been some recent comments about some new voice control features. Could be very nice.]

iPhone: This is where the major speculation has been. Since Verizon got the iPhone 4 back in January the “normal” release pattern for new phone handsets has been out of whack. Releasing a new iPhone in the Fall will allow that to coincide with the past iPod release schedule. Just in time for Christmas!

But what will the new iPhone be? There are two threads of rumors. One is a “4S” with minimal design changes, and the other is the iPhone 5, with larger screen, curved back and other improvements.

I think that the most likely scenario is an iPhone 4S release this year. Lots of rumor posts are talking about the lack of parts of the iPhone 5. Normally by now we would have seen China-made-cases-in-every-color made to fit the new body style. There would be blurry pictures floating around of random metals parts. I’ve only really seen a screen cover for a larger screen and larger Home button. There was a case prototype a while back showing a return to a curved back, but that’s about it.

The iPhone 4S on the other hand sounds like a definite. Same processor as the iPad 2, 8 megapixel camera, and probably going up to 64Gb on storage. Those features would also be available in any iPhone 5 model, but the 4S seems more likely. It would also fit the pattern of Apple: 3G to 3GS to 4 to 4S. It could include the ability to capture and edit 1080p video. That would be nice. Oh, and the antenna thing will be fixed.

Another reason you might just see a “slide-grade” rather than the full fledged upgrade to an iPhone 5 is that no Verizon customer will be anywhere close to the end of their contract period. Most would likely opt out of paying the early upgrade fees. If the upgrade is just to a “4S” that’s not as big of a deal because then next year (just a few months short of their January contract date) Apple rolls out the major reform that everyone must have. Everybody’s happy. Verizon might even do what AT&T has done in the past and allow people within a few months of contract end to upgrade without penalty.

So, iPhone 4S with iPad 2 processor, more storage available, and an 8 megapixel camera. iPhone 5 is a longshot.

iPod: It would be right in the cycle for the iPod line up to get a little refresh. The Classic might finally go away as flash storage prices are coming down. What if there were an iPod Classic with Flash memory? Imagine a 256 GB Flash iPod Classic? Pricey, but wow. We could see a 128 GB Touch. Maybe some storage size changes in the Nano and Shuffle.

But, what if that larger screen prototype with the curved back was the new iPod Touch? The current one has a slightly different screen than the iPhone 4. It’s not a lot different but it is different. Imagine a screen slightly larger than the iPhone, but the same Retina resolution, which we have been told by Apple is higher density of pixels than the human eye can see. Why not expand that size a little bit? Better for games and video. the larger size could accommodate larger flash storage as well.

Regardless, I’d love to see at least the current 5 megapixel camera, if not the same 8 megapixel camera come to the iPod Touch.

iCloud with iTunes Match: Now, I am running the beta for iOS5, but not iCloud or iTunes Match, so this is speculation. They will show off the integrated nature of Lion and iOS5 with iCloud. And then roll out the streaming-that’s-not-streaming feature of iTunes Match. Both will be available alongside iOS5.

iPad: I don’t think you will hear anything about the iPad, except bragging about how many iPad 2s have been sold, and maybe a slam or two on the rest of the tablet market.

One more thing… Apple TV? The Apple TV 2 software is ready for an upgrade. I expected Apple to announce that it would be moving toward a more app based OS when they rolled out iOS5. I’d love to see crackle, and other network apps launched. Stream for free with ads for a limited time (like Hulu), or purchase without ads and watch it forever, like you can now. I would expect at the very least the ability to “stream” from your iCloud. There is 8 GB of storage in the Apple TV, they could use it just like the new iTunes match sort-of streaming that has been talked about. I would not be surprised if they only allowed you to stream videos you purchased through iTunes, in order to appease the studios, but I’ve gotten quite a few digital copies off Blu rays, so that would be fine with me, as a start.

There might be more. None of these are big shockers. The Apple TV one may be a bit out there for today’s market. There has been some talk of an actual TV screen with a built in Apple TV. That would be interesting, but there has not been much chatter about it. The only thing that’s definite is the iOS5 rollout with iCloud and iTunes Match.

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