Where to begin?
That may be the question Tim Cook asks himself when he steps on the stage in Cupertino, Calif., at 10 a.m. Pacific Time next Tuesday.
That is when the new Apple CEO is expected to announce the next advance of the iPhone.
First, we will be introduced to 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 whom Jobs emphatically endorsed 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, having worked at IBM and Compaq, among others. It would be great to see Jobs introduce Cook in the presentation.
Second, the iPhone 5 is headed to Sprint. Unless all of the rumors are wrong, 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 will become the iPhone's third U.S. carrier.
Third, 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. 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 act as a navigation tool, as well.
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 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. And there are few better ways to trigger sales than to create anticipation. A recent 9to5Mac report claimed Apple planned on an Oct. 7 release date, but that doesn't seem plausible. The widespread word is that it 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.
Let the coundown begin to Oct. 4 and Oct. 14.