i4_thumb.jpgThanks Apple, it's my Birthday on October 4 and you've just wrecked the day. Instead of having fun in a pub, I'll be keeping a keen eye on all the details from Apple's raft of iOS5 and iPhone 4S/5 announcements.

A Very High Five?

Apple should confirmed any day now that it will be unveiling its next-generation iPhone devices to the public on October 4. The day will see new Apple CEO Tim Cook's first major event at the helm of the company, and the much anticipated unveiling of the iPhone 5, possibly the iPhone 4S along with the final version of iOS 5.

MINOR UPDATE: Latest news/rumors suggest that Apple is abandoning its usual choice of launch location, both Moscone and the Yerba Beuna Centers for the safety and added security of its own campus. That should make things a little more leak-proof, but it wouldn't be Apple if some a work-in-progress slide or photo escaped into the wild.

The actual on-sale date of the products will likely be within a week or two of the announcement, and with production margins being so tight, this event will only have been confirmed once Apple was convinced it could meet demand and get the physical product to stores. It will also have needed final sign-off on iOS 5 as this needs to be installed on the phones before they are shipped.

There has been rampant speculation about the design and components of the iPhone 5 with photos of cases, covers, alleged shots of the internals, plus endless debate about 4G, the telco line-up, NFC and other issues. All of that will end on the 4th when the real deal is unveiled.

Everyone seems to expect a wider screen, eight megapixel camera and other refinements, while the latest rumors suggest the new white iPod touch will be more of a paint job with few of these sexy upgrades.

Meeting the Competition Head-On

Until then, Apple has 12-and-a-bit days to keep a lid on the product and all its glossy secrets. Most people seem to expect that iPhone 4S will be a lower-priced version, to compete with the glut of cheap Android phones flooding the market.

Once iPhone 5 is actually out, Apple will next focus on the iPad 3, beyond that it needs to start looking at the user interface of iOS itself, now an almost five year-old product, and one that is being outflanked by nimble Android designs and the rise of Windows Phone 7's Metro and the upcoming Windows 8 armada of PCs and tablets.