Unless you’ve been living in a cave where there’s no WiFi — because some caves surely have WiFi — you’ll know there’s an Apple launch tomorrow. We’ll have someone on the ground reporting all the action, but before that happens, what should you expect?
A bigger iPhone
First thing on the agenda will be a bigger iPhone, with this one not really being a huge surprise to most people.
Currently, flagship smartphones that aren’t the massive tablet-sized smartphones or “phablets” tend to run a display of at least 5 inches in size with a resolution of at least Full HD’s 1920×1080, but not Apple.
No, since the iPhone 5 came into place — which was two years ago, by the way — Apple has been running a 4 inch smartphone, with the 1136×640 resolution marginally smaller than the 1280×720 that acts as a minimum for high definition (HD).
That resolution difference isn’t a huge issue, mind you, as the pixel per inch number comes in a 326 ppi, or what Apple calls “Retina” grade resolution, in that it’s hard for your eyes to pick up the pixels at this size.
But the Retina resolution came before the iPhone 5, with the technology first appearing on the iPhone 4, with a 3.5 inch display supporting 960×640 and showing the same 326 pixels per inch.
Two years after the iPhone 4 first came out, Apple responded to cries for a bigger display by pushing this up half an inch and making the iPhone 5, which later on led to the metal-bodied iPhone 5S and the plastic-bodied iPhone 5C.
Right now, the 4 inch iPhone doesn’t cut it for a lot of customers, and they have been screaming for a bigger iPhone, which has allowed competitors to jump in with parodying ads in the meantime.
That information, as well as the numerous hardware leaks the web has reported, practically suggests a bigger iPhone 6 is on the way, and will be here tomorrow. We’ll be shocked if it isn’t, and frankly, we’re anticipating a 64-bit chip, 4.7 inch display size, fingerprint sensor home button, Near-Field Communication, 802.11ac WiFi, 4G, and storage sizes ranging from 32GB to 128GB.
A huge iPhone
Then there’s the other likelihood, which is a positively massive iPhone, aimed at the audience that wants their iPhone to also be an iPad Mini.
This is the world of phablets, of which Samsung’s Galaxy Note range clearly takes part in, fighting alongside the HTC One Max, the Huawei Ascend Mate, Nokia Lumia 1520, and Sony’s Xperia Z Ultra, providing roughly 6 inches of touchscreen with a phone inside.
Apple would be mad not to make one of these, and we expect the company to unveil a 5.5 inch phablet, possibly called the iPhone Air, or even the iPhone 6L, with the “L” standing for “large” just in case you didn’t get it.
…and the same iPhone makes three
Whenever Apple releases a new smartphone, it always keeps an old one around to act as an entry model, and with that, we’re expecting a variant of the iPhone 5 to stick around this year.
That variant will likely be the iPhone 5C, since its plastic casing suggests it’s an entry level option to customers, and it will even keep the smaller 4 inch size around for people who prefer that.
Not everyone prefers the bigger screen sizes, and Apple once declared that its 3.5- and 4-inch sizes were made for hands in ways that bigger phones won’t, so aside for letting pundits jump all over Apple when it does make a big phone for this original comment, leaving the smaller phone in the line-up will also mean there’s an option for people who like a smaller phone.
Given the miniature versions of flagship Androids that are made — HTC’s One Mini 2, Sony’s Xperia Z3, and so on — there’s obviously a demand for smaller phones, and we’d be shocked if Apple let go of this sector.
Will there be a wearable?
The Apple iWatch is one of those gadgets that has been rumoured for such a long time, you’d be excused for thinking it’s vapourware.
Apple first dabbled in the idea with the square iPod Nano, with accessory makers crafting a watchband for the gadget that turned the touchscreen square into a stylish watch that could play music.
But when Apple switched form-factors for its media player, the touchscreen square that was the iPod Nano went out the window, suggesting to many that a smartwatch was coming.
So people waited. And waited. And waited.
And every time Apple has run a keynote since the iPod Nano square was replaced in 2012, there has been an expectation that Apple would unveil that smartwatch, which many expect to be called the “iWatch.”
This year, the rumours are even more rampant for Apple to launch an iWatch due to the competition in the smartwatch sector: there’s Pebble, Samsung, Sony, Motorola, Asus, and LG, to name but a few, with more players on the way, and that suggests Apple should get in their with its own smartwatch product.
Australian designer Marc Newson was recently picked up by Apple, fuelling expectations that a smartwatch will be made by Apple, since Newson has designed several watches in the past, and there was also a recent hiring of someone who worked at another watch company, TAG Heuer.
So will we see the iWatch tomorrow?
This one is a maybe for us, as it’s possible that Apple will show a preview or even hint that it has something in the works, but that an actual release is further away, and likely some time next year.
Given the Google’s Android Wear is already out in the marketplace, Apple needs to show something, if only to scare the competition, but we’re not sure the company is ready just yet for the holiday season. We’re hopeful, but unsure.
We’ve heard some inklings that U2 might make an appearance, possibly with a connected-gadget, and that wouldn’t be the first time, since U2 once had a special edition iPod.
We might be seeing a come back with a U2 themed iPod, and we might even see a U2 partnership for the band’s upcoming album.
New iPod models could also pop up, thanks to there being two years between models. That’s normally the longest amount of time Apple waits, with the exception being the hard drive model, the iPod Classic, which hasn’t been changed for around five years, and will probably be retired shortly.
Sapphire glass is another possibility, with the insanely resistant glass rumoured to be on the next iPhone, but this is something we doubt, due to the cost of the material.
What could happen, however, is that Apple offers the technology for customers keen to improve the durability of its phones substantially.
Given that Sapphire glass is so expensive, it’s possible that Apple’s iPhone models could become configurable in the order stage like its computers, with Sapphire glass added to one of the checkout stages at a larger cost to customers who don’t shy away from spending extra money.
Alternatively, it could be added to a top-shelf iPhone, with a special 128GB or 256GB model being equipped with the insanely scratch resistant glass if you have lots of money at the ready.
Whatever Apple plans to launch, we’ll know soon enough. GadgetGuy’s Valens Quinn will even be on the ground reporting straight from the event, so make sure to watch the GadgetGuy Twitter feed from 4am to see the info as it happens.