The countdown has begun for the Sept. 12 media event at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco where Apple is expected to unveil the new version of its flagship smartphone, probably "iPhone 5."
In terms of new features, it seems that there is very little ground left for Apple to surprise consumers. Thanks to numerous leaked photos and videos of purported iPhone 5 components and casings as well other detailed information about the device's specifications like the enlarged screen size and new display technology, people already have a pretty clear idea about what the sixth generation iPhone will offer.
However, if a report by Redmond Pie is to be believed, Apple does have some surprises for its consumers, which could be revealed alongside the release of the next iPhone iteration.
Citing the Telegraph, the report has said that when iPhone 5 is introduced to the public, the Cupertino tech giant could stop selling iPhone 3GS and bring in an 8GB version of iPhone 4S, which is currently sold in 16, 32 and 64GB configurations.
"The 3GS was launched in June 2009 and sold a million units over its first weekend alone. At more than three years old, however, it is no longer able to keep track with the latest features," said the Telegraph.
If Apple indeed does so, it won't be the first time for the company as it did the same with the iPhone 4 during the launch of the iPhone 4S last October. According to Redmond Pie, that move with iPhone 4 was "certainly a win-win for Apple" and so it would be this time as well since it would allow consumers with an economical budget to grab a brand-new iPhone and the less amount of storage for apps, music and games will push many into considering Apple's iCloud service.
The Telegraph said that if Apple ceases the sale of the iPhone 3GS, the 8GB version of iPhone 4 would be an entry-level iPhone. It could also be given away free of cost on contract in a deal, as the case currently with iPhone 3GS.
"The iPhone 3GS will soon be the forth oldest device, and with an average camera, no Retina display, and a cheapy plastic shell, it seems light years away from what we expect of the iPhone 5," said Redmond Pie.
When it comes to pricing, iPhone 4S is likely to be sold for the same amount currently charged for iPhone 4. And with features like an 8 megapixel camera, a dual-core processor and Siri, the device would continue selling in large numbers, the report added.
From what is rumored, iPhone 5 is expected to come with a larger 4-inch screen with in-cell touch technology, a uni-body design and a smaller 9-pin dock connector. The device is likely to run on iOS 6, which would be completely scalable to a larger 640 x 1136 display.
The device is expected to be powered by a much-improved processor. Other talked-about features include 4G LTE technology, Near Field Communication (NFC), 1GB RAM, improved Siri, liquidmetal casing, an 8 megapixel (or even higher) rear camera, a 2 megapixel front-facing camera for video chatting and a much-improved battery life.
Analysts have predicted that the new iPhone would be a major smartphone release in Apple's history. It is expected that a total of between six million and 10 million new units will be sold in the last week of September, taking the total sales to touch the 28-million mark in the July-September quarter.