We're just days away from the launch of the iPhone 5 (aka "new iPhone") and the Apple [AAPL] stories are coming fast, with new features, new accessories, a chance to replace Samsung in processor supply and fresh questions as to the inclusion -- or not -- of NFC support within the new smartphone.
September 12 is expected to see introduction of the thinner than ever iPhone 5, which may well boast a 12-megapixel camera, a quad-core 1.2Ghz processor, a 4-inch screen and support for LTE/4G on the 1,800Mhz frequency.
AirPlay without Wi-Fi
One new iPhone 5 feature in discussion this morning is an incremental improvement to AirPlay, dubbed "AirPlay Direct". We're told this will allow iOS devices to stream audio directly without need of a Wi-Fi network, using Bluetooth.
This doesn't sound too insanely great, until you begin to consider Apple's plans to eventually eradicate all cables from its devices. AirPlay Direct should enable accessory manufacturers to introduce wireless speaker systems and home Hi-Fi equipment that (a) doesn't require inclusion of a Wi-Fi chip and (b) enables seamless connection to any user's iDevice.
It's not that revolutionary as you can already use Bluetooth to stream audio from an iDevice to other systems, but hopefully Apple's implementation will make for a more reliable connection.
At this point I'd note that in recent conversations with accessory vendors I've encountered huge reluctance to discuss anything pertaining to Apple's plans on or off the record, however one source close to a vendor shared some excitement at the, "future of their wireless speaker systems". Perhaps AirPlay Direct (aka. "AirPlay 2.0") is the reason for this optimism?
New breed accessories
Accessory vendors are also optimistic at the introduction of Apple's new Dock Connector, though many existing peripheral users may be a little miffed.
The new connector is smaller than before, meaning many will have to choose between forking out cold hard cash for an Apple adaptor (hopefully sold at a low price, rather than the company's usual eye-watering charges for interface cables) or replacing all their existing devices wholesale.
Vendors will welcome the move, because it is likely to reignite accessory sales among the hardcore iPhone-fashionistas. iLounge has a first look at some of the new accessories.
Samsung, can you feel it yet?
To a chorus of the usual pro-Android cant, Apple prevailed in its important case against Samsung last week, proving that competitor to be a copycat. There's an excellent article delivering a rebuttal of the majority of the kind of anti-Apple accusations I'm used to reading in comments to any iPhone piece here. Those who choose to ignore that report's counter-arguments may perhaps benefit from learning the Earth is not in fact flat.
Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.