Today's the big day.

Apple CEO Tim Cook is expected to unveil the iPhone 5 at 10 a.m. Pacific time Tuesday at the company's campus in Cupertino, Calif.

It'll be a formal introduction to the new face of Apple, and the new gadget that has been the topic of great interest.

The timing of Apple's announcement is not surprising. Less than two months before the start of the holiday shopping season, iPhone 5 might be the top-selling gadget of 2011.

Also, Apple has a legitimate competitor in the Android, and must come up with new ways to reinvent their product and boost interest in the rapidly changing smart phone sector. Though iPhones outsell Androids, collective sales of Android phones at Verizon Wireless are not far off iPhone sales -- possibly due to iPhone's lack of 4G LTE compatibility.

With iPhone 5, Apple has the opportunity to show the world why it's the market leader.

Stay here and post your thoughts on the event, or go to www.watchvertex.com to watch the live streaming feed.

Cook presentation should be intriguing, to say the least.

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

First, he'll introduce himself as the new face of Apple. In August, Steve Jobs stepped down as chief executive, but has stayed on as the chairman. Jobs gave Cook 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'd 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'd 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 is expected to have a faster processor, higher resolution camera, and a new voice command system called the Assistant. It's 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, too.

The big question surrounding Assistant will be the effectiveness of speech-to-text and whether users will actually give up on typing out numbers and words. There is voice-recognition in other mediums, but users often bypass the tool to write things out instead.

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

Speed is also the name of the game. With the implementation of a hyper-speed HSPA+ 21 Mbps modem, the iPhone 5 should have three times the download speed of the iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4. Basically, expect the 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's speculation that it'll 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 Oct. 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, especially ahead of the critical holiday shopping season.

A recent 9to5Mac report claimed Apple planned an Oct. 7 release, but that doesn't seem plausible. It's widely believed the release date will be Oct. 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.

To watch the live streaming feed of the event: go to www.watchvertex.com.

According to the Web site:

Our coverage begins today at 12:30 PM EDT/9:30 AM PDT with a preview show discussing the latest expectations. Live keynote coverage begins at 1:00 PM EDT/10:00 AM PDT, and will go through the entirety of the event. We will have a 30 minute post-show after the conclusion of Apple's presentation, followed by an introduction to Vertex and the launch of our regularly scheduled programming, which will last through 11 PM EDT/8 PM PDT.

HERE'S THE LIVE BLOG:

(Looking for smart comments, not lame questions)