'Twas the night before Applemas, and all through the house, geeks were stirring and hacking with mouse. Stuff Christmas — tomorrow is the most exciting day in the calendar for Apple fans, as the new iPhone(s) is unveiled. We line up all the details that should make all those people extra happy, as last-minute leaks highlight what's to come.
Ten-Four, All's Okay
Who knows why Apple chose tomorrow's date to launch its next generation of iPhone, but feeble symbolism aside, it should be a day of great fervor for Apple fans as the company reveals one, if not two, new phones.The rumors and news have been swirling for well over a year now, neatly documented in this geek.com infographic.
Apple might grudgingly admit that its rivals have caught it in terms of design and features, surpassed it in price, and while few can match the iTunes offering, that isn't really essential for many. So, Apple will be looking to push the features barrier further, while widening its appeal to more customers, in more territories across a greater price range.
Whatever happens, we'll have all the launch coverage and aftermath, here.
iPhone 4S Awaits
The broader appeal will come in the appeal of the iPhone 4S, a moderate budget-level phone for people who can't justify the premium price of the top-end models. Eager watchers have already seen proof of this device's existence in Apple's own iTunes code, the stock control systems of major telcos and with a few up-then-removed mentions on online stores.
Part of the success in reducing cost comes with the launch of iOS 5 and iCloud, already covered in the beta launch, but the hardware is what the masses will want to see at the Cupertino launch where the iPhone 5 is supposed to be the star of the show.
The closest we've yet seen to a decent leaked image is this German YouTube video of the Apple site with the new product pages leaked early. If it is a fake, then its a very good one, and unlikely to be far from the truth.
Beyond the Launch
Looking toward the physical product launch, sometime in the middle of October, expect a US$ 500-700 price point for the iPhone 5, with three memory variants likely ranging from 16 to 32GB. There is the risk of short supplies due to reported product and factory problems. The iPhone 4S may be priced around $400 but will likely come with heavy carrier subsidies to attract users.
There is also some debate over which carriers gets which model and with what feature set. Will one or two be graced with a 4G model, while some are limited to 3G-only service? We'll probably find that out in the next few hours, as the telco sites are leakier than most when it comes to phone news.