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What to expect from Apple's next iPhone event

Lex Friedman, Dan Moren | Aug. 13, 2013
Signs point to Apple holding another of its trademark special events next month.

And if that's true, that might mean that said new, cheaper, colorful iPhone is released in addition to a new "full-price" iPhone as well. What's less clear--and we regret the implication that iPhone rumors really have much in the way of clarity--is precisely how a cheaper iPhone might be priced: If history is a guide, a hypothetical new iPhone 5S would start at $199, making the iPhone 5 $99, and the iPhone 4S free, albeit with two-year contracts.

A new, cheaper iPhone (which some have dubbed the iPhone 5C) would presumably alter that pricing equation. The 4S, for example, might drop out of the line-up entirely, with the new 5C supplanting it. Alternatively, the 5C could be positioned at a $50 price point, with the iPhone 5 becoming the new free phone, and the iPhone 5S costing just $100. Or any of a variety of other dollar-based permutations.

But the truth is that only Apple knows. And it will tell us--and you--come September.

Another rumor surrounding the new iPhone: It could feature an integrated fingerprint sensor, perhaps even built right into the device's home button. That would potentially offer applications for security, authentication, or ... giggles?

As long as we're going out on a limb, here's one thing we're willing to predict with supreme confidence: No, Apple won't be changing up the Lightning connector. Last year's shift from the 30-pin dock connector of old to the Lightning port of the future was a long-in-the-coming change, and Apple clearly sees Lightning as its connector for many years to come.

What is likely to change are the under-the-hood technologies that Apple improves annually: the iPhone's camera, processor, and Wi-Fi capabilities. In the last category, the iPhone could gain support for the newer 802.11ac standard, which has already been rolled out to the latest Macs.

Somewhere, beyond the phone
Last year, Apple unveiled a slew of iPod updates at its September event. The iPod nano seems to get makeovers more often than Joan Rivers. The iPod classic has evaded death for years; might this be the year Apple finally retires the only iPod still using a conventional hard drive, or will the little iPod that could keep on keeping on?

The surer iPod bet is that a new iPod touch will debut alongside any new iPhones. It will likely incorporate many similar improvements as the iPhone, though potentially lower-power variants of those features. We can, however, say with authority that many people will continue to wrongly refer to that device as an iTouch.

Last year also saw the premiere of iTunes 11. Apple reportedly already has a newer version of iTunes out for testing amongst developers, integrating the iTunes Radio feature that the company announced back in June. New iPhones almost always come with iTunes updates at the same time, so announcements on that topic seem fairly likely, too.

 

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