The time is almost here for a major announcement from the most prominent brand in contemporary technology.

When he steps on the stage in Cupertino, Calif., at 10 a.m. Pacific Time, Tim Cook will introduce himself and a new iPhone 5 to the world.

There are almost too many things to speculate will be announced, but here's an idea of what can probably can be expected from Cook.

First, he will introduce himself as the new face of Apple. In August, Steve Jobs stepped down as chief executive officer, but has stayed on as the chairman of the board. Cook is a fitness enthusiast and Jobs gave him an emphatic endorsement as his successor. The 50-year-old Duke business school grad had been chief operating officer since January 2007, and is considered to be a sharp businessman, with a great deal of industry experience.

Cook worked at IBM and Compaq, among other tech companies. In a changing-of-the-guard situation, it would be a classy move to see Jobs introduce Cook in the presentation, and for Jobs to receive the recognition he deserves for being the creative force behind a revolutionary brand. it would also be great to see Cook inject some humor into the proceedings.

Second, the iPhone 5 will be considered improved, not different. The new iPhone will have a faster processor, higher resolution camera, and a new voice command system called Assistant. It is also expected to work seamlessly with Apple's new iCloud service and should come with Apple's new iOS5 operating system.

But make no mistake, Assistant will be the featured attraction on Tuesday. The idea of writing a text message by speaking into a phone will be a major reason people will race to stores to purchase the newest iPhone, and it should also be able to act as a navigation tool, as well.

The iPhone 5 will likely come with 1GB of RAM (internal memory) and an 8-megapixel camera. Also, the word is that iPhone 5 will return to its previous metal casing that made it unique to consumers in 2007.

Speed is also the name of the game. With the implementation of a hyper-speed HSPA+ 21 Mbps modem, iPhone 5 should have three times the download speed of iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4. Basically, expect iPhone 5 to have 4G speed.

Third, the iPhone 5 is headed to Sprint. Unless the widespread rumors are completely fabricated, Sprint is going in a new direction with hopes that its unlimited data plan can lure customers away from AT&T and Verizon. Many insiders have labelled Sprint the most affordable carrier, with its annual upgrades and unlimited data, placing it third in the highly competitive telecom sector. Sprint now becomes the iPhone's third U.S. carrier. 

Fourth, a more affordable iPhone 4 could at least be mentioned. There is speculation that it will have an A5 dual processor but have 8 gigabyte storage. For those intimidated by iPhones, the updated iPhone 4, or iPhone 4S, will serve as somewhat of an entry-level phone for consumers not interested in spending a lot on a device that may be too complicated for them.

Fifth, we'll see you in stores in 10 days. The October 14 release date appears to be the major news, because as much as Apple wants to push their prized gadget, they're also looking to bolster enthusiasm. Indeed, there are few better ways to trigger sales than to create anticipation. A recent 9to5Mac report claimed Apple planned on an October 7 release date, but that doesn't seem plausible. The widespread word is that it will be October 14, which is just enough time to create the buzz Apple loves.

The overall good news is that Apple will finally stop keeping their loyal customers in the dark. Many consumers can't wait for an upgrade, so the buildup has been tense.

Let the countdown begin to 10:00 AM...  and then to October 14.