It's been long reported that Apple's next big product event, which is said to unveil the new iPhone 5, a new "iPad Mini," and even new iPod and Mac models, will allegedly occur on Wednesday, Sept. 12. If company history repeats itself, it's possible that Apple will release the press invitations eight days prior to the event's date, either today (Tuesday) or Wednesday.
Apple's perennial policy is to never "confirm or comment on rumors or speculation," but this year, an unusually large number of news companies are all reporting the same date for Apple's grand unveiling: Wednesday, Sept. 12. The date was first reported by iMore, and then the Verge, Reuters,Bloomberg, the New York Times, The Loop and CNN.
It seems like the only company that has yet to confirm the unveiling date for the next iPhone is the only company that matters: Apple.
If we look at the trend of release dates, from the event invitation to the event itself, we see that Apple typically spreads these things about seven or eight days apart.
For example, for last year's iPhone launch, Apple issued invitations for its "Let's Talk iPhone Event" on Tuesday, Sept. 27. The event itself was held on Tuesday, Oct. 4, seven days after the invites went out.
Now, it seems that we have the intended unveiling date (Wednesday, Sept. 12), but all we need are the official invitations from Apple.
Given the volume and accuracy of the news companies reporting the Sept. 12 unveiling date - as well as the iPhone's release date, said to occur nine days later on Sept. 21 - it seems most likely that Apple will release invitations to the iPhone 5 event on Sept. 4 or 5.
Now that the Labor Day weekend has finally finished, Apple has a captive audience if it wanted to make news on a relatively slow, calm news day. The long holiday weekend is over and professionals and students are getting into work mode, but if Apple announced the imminent iPhone event either today or tomorrow, it would effectively build plenty of hype over the next week until the official unveiling.
What Will Apple Unveil At The Event?
Nobody outside Apple truly knows what the company will unveil at its alleged Sept. 12 event, but we have a pretty good idea of what we're going to see, based on the levels of production in Apple's supply chains, as well as reports and leaks coming from those same manufacturers.
Even though the event will likely be all about the iPhone 5, the phone isn't the only device said to be unveiled that day; reports are saying Apple has plans to introduce a new iPod Nano, a new 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro, and a brand-new "mini" iPad, which is expected to be unveiled in September but released in October, quite possibly on Oct. 5 -- the one year anniversary of Steve Jobs' death.
If KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is correct - and he has been recently - we may also see Apple unveil and launch a new 21.5-inch iMac, as well as an all-new 27-inch iMac.
Here's a brief summary of what you can expect to see from each new device:
iPhone 5: Thanks to batches of images released by insiders within Apple's supply chains and repair shops, we generally know what the iPhone 5 looks like. We expect the iPhone to feature a bigger, thinner front plate that stretches the screen just beyond four inches to achieve a 16:9 resolution ratio to watch 1080p HD videos in a widescreen format.
According to alleged prototypes and images, Apple has also reportedly expanded and redesigned its speaker grills, migrated the FaceTime camera to be directly above the earpiece, moved the earphone jack from the top right corner of the phone to the bottom left corner, and introduced a new camera opening on the backside of the phone between the camera lens and the LED flash, which likely houses a small microphone. Finally, we believe Apple has fixed its iPhone 5 with a unibody metal back instead of an all-glass facade, which could potentially improve call reception, and has also endowed the iPhone with a new quad-core A6 processor, and that heavily-rumored smaller dock connector.
iPad Mini: On July 10, a photo set of the alleged iPad Mini suggested the mini tablet would be much wider and a little taller than the Nexus 7, Google's recently introduced 7-inch tablet, and it would be slightly thinner than Apple's third-generation "new" iPad. Gotta Be Mobile believes the iPad Mini will measure about 213.36mm tall and 143.67mm wide, which is "approximately two-thirds of the size of the new third-generation iPad." (The new iPad is 185.67mm wide, 241.3mm tall, and 9.39mm thick.)
The iPad Mini will almost definitely feature a Retina Display, front and rear cameras (iSight and FaceTime), and a smaller dock connector (like the iPhone 5). Read here for more information about the iPad Mini's alleged features.
13-inch Retina MacBook Pro: Before Apple shocked the WWDC audience with a completely-redesigned MacBook Pro with Retina Display, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicted Apple would unveil such a notebook, and he evencorrectly forecast most of the features, including a lighter and slimmer form factor than the current MacBook Pros, the lack of a disc drive, and the Retina Display. After the event took place, Kuo followed up on his earlier report bysharing a new note with AppleInsider, in which he described how Apple will follow up the 15-inch model with a smaller, 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display, to be released in early October.
Kuo had actually mentioned the 13-inch model in his initial report, adding that the basic computer would sell at $1,199. Apple starts selling the 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Displayat $2,199.
New iPod Touch: On Aug. 25,GizChina posted new photos of what it claimed to be a next-generation iPodTouch, which featured a less tapered design and a wider rear camera whole, which suggests Apple may have added an LED flash to the back of the iPod to be like the iPhone.
As you can see from the photos these cases suggest that the next generationiPod touch will have a new design (at least to the rear) and seem to be have a much less pronounced taper to the edges when compared to the current iPod touch 4. The hole around the camera area to the left for example looks to have been elongated and tapered to fit around a possible LED flash to help with low light photography, and there is also the appearance of a new 'mystery hole' in the lower left hand side of the case.
The report goes on to speculate the "mystery hole" is a speaker or microphone of some kind.
New iMac: After Apple released its new MacBook Pro with Retina Display in June, Geekbench makers Primate Labs discovered that Apple's previously leaked details about the non-Retina Display 15-inch MacBook Pro matched up exactly with the real specifications, which all but confirmed the legitimacy of the original "leaked" story.
That considered, it makes sense to revisit another benchmark that appeared around the same time -- this one for the iMac. The leaked benchmark for a new iMac described a model called "iMac 13,2," which would run on a 3.4 GHz Core i7-3770 quad-core processor with 4GB of 1600 MHz RAM, and operate on OS X 10.8 "Mountain Lion. Primate Labs believes this entry is indeed legitimate.
On Aug. 31, Kuo from KGI Securities released his own product launch schedule for future Apple products, noting that Apple will unveil and release a 21.5-inch iMac with a 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro on Sept. 12, a new iPhone and iPod Touch about nine days later, a new iPod Nano and modified new iPad less than a month after that, and the new "iPad Mini" and 27-inch iMac shortly after that in mid-October.
Are you looking forward to Apple's next event? Keep your eyes peeled for Apple invitations over the next couple of days, and leave us your thoughts on the next-gen iPhone, iPad, and Mac computers in the comments section below.