By Jim Karpen on Mon, 09/09/2013
Enthusiasm for Tuesday's event continues to build, with Cult of Mac reporting that customers wanting the new phone were already starting to line up yesterday at Apple's Fifth Avenue store in New York City. As much as we know about the new phones, there's still a lot that we don't, especially about the 5C. So interest in Apple's announcement remains high.
The biggest question is the price point for the iPhone 5C. Will it be significantly lower cost or will the price be mid-range? Many are speculating that it will be $49 or $99, with one of the earlier models, possibly the 4S, becoming the low-end freebie (with contract). We don't know if Apple will continue to sell the iPhone 5 at a lower price; some think it will be discontinued, as well the iPhone 4.
We also don't know if the iPhone 5C will lack some features in order to achieve the lower price. It seems unlikely that it will have the fingerprint sensor that's expected on the iPhone 5S. One analyst even predicted that the 5C would lack Siri, but I seriously doubt that. Of course, Apple is saving money by using a polycarbonate casing instead of aluminum. It's possible that the casing material and the fingerprint sensor will be the only differences in features.
We don't know whether the gold-colored iPhone 5S will be available in all markets or at all price points. Some have speculated that it could be limited to the Asian market or to a 128GB version of the 5S.
Also, there are rumors that the 5S will have a camera upgrade in addition to the expected dual LED flash — possibly as high as 13 megapixels — so I'm looking forward to more details on that.
We also don't know the storage configurations for the devices. Many are hoping that a new 128GB option will be available for the 5S, with the possibility that the least expensive model will come in at 32GB. It seems possible the 5C will have a lower range of storage configurations than the 5C.
It will be interesting to hear what Apple says about the fingerprint sensor. Patently Apple has posted extensive detail related to Apple's patent for the sensor. It shows that the sensor may actually have a built-in near-field communications (NFC) chip. Among other uses, NFC lets your device communicate with point-of-sale terminals so you can quickly complete purchases via your device.
We also don't know what Apple has in mind regarding the Apple TV. The latest reports say that Apple definitely won't be introducing a new version of their set-top box next week, but that they will be introducing a new version of the software.
We also don't know when iTunes Radio will launch, and Apple will likely give us the word Tuesday. And we'll likely find out when we'll be able to download iOS 7.
I suspect Apple will have a couple surprises, but more in the area of software and surfaces rather than a new device such as an iWatch.