Every year, Apple announces new iPhones. This happens without fail and September is now clearly their month of choice in which to do so. Quite why people spend what feels like weeks pontificating about exactly when and where it will happen is something I’ll never quite understand. But, anyway… enough grumpiness.
The latest event will be held on Tuesday 9th September, as unveiled last week via the following invite to press and other people Apple deems important/nice enough to sit in the audience:
Along with the date/location speculation, everyone* likes to have a good guess at what the latest invite is trying to tell us. What clues have Apple built into it? What does the imagery mean? Woah… is that an Apple TV hidden in the third pixel from the top-left? It can all get rather boring and undoubtedly hilarious from the Apple marketing department’s perspective, but I do think there’s something in the one above, which leads me onto my predictions for next week.
These predictions are based on idle speculation, past iPhone event performance and, well, let’s be honest, good, old fashioned hunches. Let’s face it – none of us know exactly what will happen next week, but it’s a bit of a laugh to have guess, so here goes…
We are now due the successor to the 6 and, if history is anything to go by, the next one will be called the 6s. No one really understands what ‘s’ stands for, but we all know it as the moniker for the ‘interim’ update before the big number-notching one.
Force Touch, new colours and a better camera all sound like certainties. Unfortunately, none of them really excite me. Force Touch simply isn’t the killer app Touch ID turned out to be, nor will it nestle itself so neatly into national interest. I’d wager I could fill a room with people and spend a good hour trying to explain what it is and why it might be of benefit. We’ll see.
Better camera? Great. We all like a good phone camera. Rumours of 4K shooting? I’m afraid 4K simply isn’t as accessible as the tech press might have you believe. Yes, cheaper TVs are flooding the market, but the content is rather hard to come by, and at which point will you watch stuff recorded on your iPhone on your TV? A useful marketing bullet point at this stage, nothing more.
What I’m more excited about is the opportunity to downsize.
I’m actually quite excited about this. My Apple TV enjoys moderate use as a Netflix box and occasional music streaming device, but that’s about it. The interface is clunky, slow and relatively limited in terms of functionality.
We’re led to believe that Apple is working on a full TV service aimed at disrupting the TV market, iTunes-style. All very exciting, but as a UK resident, I do wonder how long it’ll take this element to reach us. Rumours are the US won’t see it until next year, and we always lag a good year or two behind that. Can Apple come up with something compelling enough to knock Sky and Virgin off their perch? Or will they partner? Whatever, I don’t think we’ll learn any of that next week.
September 9th is most likely going to be devoted to an unveiling of new hardware and a new user interface. Unfortunately, that won’t be enough, which is why I’m looking forward to Apple’s pitch – what will make us want to upgrade to the new box? How will it integrate with other Apple devices and services? Siri? This is where the above invite makes the loudest of hints and I do think we’ll see significant Siri integration with the next Apple TV. As a light Siri user, I again need convincing, but much of my reluctance to use Apple’s helpful assistant stems from the unavoidable dickhead factor associated with talking to your phone or watch in front of other human beings. In the privacy of my house, though? That could be very interesting indeed.
An App Store is also expected, which will almost definitely focus on games. Get this right, and Apple could really be on to something by capitalising on the explosion of interest in casual gaming.
New iPads? The long-rumoured iPad Pro complete with stylus? Not going to happen. We’ll see that little lot in October.
*’everyone’ of course being the minority of tech geeks who find this stuff exciting.