Apple laid months of event rumors and speculation to rest on Tuesday when it sent out official invitations to a special media presentation on September 12. Of course, now that we know for sure that an event is happening, the real speculation begins.
A new iPhone is likely, based on reading the invitations tea leavesor, in this case, by interpreting the imagery Apple put on its invites. But what else might Apple have in store when company executives take the stage at San Franciscos Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater? We look at the most likely possibilities and the pie-in-the-sky suggestions.
A new iPhone
Apples event image features the cheeky, teasing tagline Its almost here, with the shadow of a 5 lurking below a large bolded 12. So yes, its likely well see the successor to the iPhone 4S make its official debut. Though many speculated that the iPhone might adopt the naming scheme of its iPad sibling and simply be introduced as the new iPhoneafter all, the iPhone 4S was technically Apples fifth-generation phonethe invitation implies otherwise. So it certainly looks as though we might stick with the number monikers for another generation.
LTE: As for the device itself, rumors have pegged it as potentially thinner, lighter, and packed with 4G/LTE connectivity. While Apple already touts its networking speeds as 4G on its existing iPhones (thanks to a software update), the truth is that even the fastest of the iPhones wireless connectivity is still largely under the aegis of 3G. LTE, which is currently being deployed in many markets by wireless carriers, is likely to offer a much more noticeable speed increase for users in the coverage area. If the next iPhone does feature LTE support, expect a demonstration of the speediness of the new technology.
Though it would certainly make things easy on consumers (and retailers), a world LTE iPhone is probably not in the cards, thanks to the many frequency bands of 4G/LTE service that carriers are using throughout the globe. The best model to look to currently is the iPhones sibling, the third-generation iPad. In North America, you can buy one of two models: an AT&T model, which uses LTE service in areas that support it and falls back to DC-HSDPA/HSPA+ elsewhere; and a Verizon model, which falls back to that carrier's 3G CDMA network while in the United States. Both models support worldwide GSM bands, so you can roam the globe on 3G networksjust not LTE. A new iPhone could follow suit with multiple models: LTE that falls back to DC-HSDPA/HSPA+ (AT&T), and LTE that falls back to CDMA (Verizon, Sprint). Theres a slim possibility that Apple may figure out a way to fit all the radio components into one iPhone model, but we wouldnt bet on it.
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