What to expect from today’s iPhone 5S & 5C event

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Apple’s big event today is expected to bring quite a few big announcements, but what do we know for sure? From the iPhone 5C to an iPad mini with Retina display, the speculation has been all over the map. Here’s what you need to know as we head into the 1PM EDT/10AM PDT press event.

iPhone 5S

What we know: The iPhone 5S will, in large part, resemble the iPhone 5. As the name implies, the refresh will be along the same lines as the upgrade from the iPhone 4 to the iPhone 4S. In terms of appearance, don’t expect the device to look any different than the current generation, but it could launch with new color options, including a gold/champagne model.

Hardware will see quite a few updates, from a higher performance A7 processor to a camera featuring what evidence points to as a dual-LED flash. Some sort of fingerprint scanner, likely embedded in the Home button as a biometric security layer, also seems inevitable at this point. The 5S may also be the first iPhone to feature NFC.

While the specifics will be hashed out later today, the takeaway is to expect a faster device using the same quality design and build as the iPhone 5. Apple will look to wow us with innovative functions.

Unanswered questions: How will the fingerprint sensor interact with iOS 7? In what ways will Apple utilize the new technology? Will the camera see a bump in megapixels? Launch date?

LikelihoodCertain

iPhone 5C

What we know: The iPhone 5C is Apple’s response to the budget handset market that has undercut the company’s penetration in emerging markets. Utilizing plastic as the main build material, the device is expected to come in at a discount when compared to the iPhone 5S.

The ‘C’ in the name could very well stand for color, as the iPhone 5C is expected to launch in a variety of options. On the hardware front, expect a device with a similar build to the iPhone 5. It should feature an identical 4-inch display and might run on Apple’s A6 processing core.

Unanswered questions: What will the final pricing of the iPhone 5C be? What will Apple do with the iPhone 5/4S/4? Launch date?

Likelihood: Certain

iOS 7 General Availability

What we know: Apple unveiled iOS 7 at WWDC earlier this year, and has since released several betas to developers. As has typically been the case in year’s past, it is expected that Apple will announce general availability of the OS update for older devices alongside new models featuring the software at launch.

iOS 7 is one of the biggest updates to Apple’s mobile platform to date, featuring a completely new aesthetic crafted by Jony Ive. The emphasis is on bold, bright colors and simplicity. iOS 7 also introduces AirDrop file sharing, a new Control Center panel, improved multitasking, and more.

Unanswered questions: Will the iOS 7 update be available immediately or will we be waiting until retail availability of new iPhones? Will Apple have any surprise features to show off?

LikelihoodCertain

Apple TV

What we know: Apple has been working hard to build up their television platform, and CEO Tim Cook has stated that it remains a priority. In recent months Cupertino has been adding new content partners and channels to Apple TV as it builds out the service.

Rumors have pointed to Apple possibly unveiling new Apple TV hardware alongside their new iPhone offerings. While the speculation had a solid foundation, it now seems unlikely a new Apple TV is headed our way. Instead, Apple could show off some minor software-side enhancements that would more or less tie into the iPhone theme of the event (iTunes Radio, sharing purchased content to a friend’s Apple TV device, etc.).

Unanswered questions: Will Apple tease a bigger Apple TV refresh for the future?

LikelihoodUncertain

iPad and iPad mini

What we know: Perhaps the biggest wild card, updated iPads may or may not be at Apple’s iPhone event. Reports have gone both ways in recent months. What is certain is that Apple will release refreshed iPad models by the end of the year.

A new iPad has been leaked several times, revealing a design that takes cues from the iPad mini. It is thinner and features a smaller bezel than previous models. Hardware such as processing power should see a nice bump, including a potential move to Apple’s A7 processor.

The iPad mini will remain much the same to the current model with one major addition: a Retina display. Otherwise, expect modest upgrades all around when the new tablet launches alongside the larger model in Q4 of this year.

Unanswered questions: Will new iPads make an appearance at the event? When will the devices launch?

LikelihoodUncertain


So that’s everything we have some idea about, but Apple is perhaps best known for their surprises. We won’t know exactly until the dust settles. In the meantime, what are you most looking forward to? What do you hope to see?