Apple Event Predictions

Update: Post event - I've striked out the things I predicted incorrectly.

First of all, I want to state that I do not write this post with insider tips of what is going to be released on Tuesday. I am also not arrogant enough to think that more than 5 people who read this post really care what i have to say on the subject. Instead, I write this mainly for my own amusement and enjoyment to publicly state what I think will be announced so as to see how right or wrong I was afterward. If any of this is interesting to you, then so much the better. A lot of what I'm to say you've probably read elsewhere already. By typing these words to pixel, I'm forcing myself to be honest and serious about what I want to commit to and not.

Getting that preamble out of the way, I am going to categorize my predictions into:

  1. What will be announced (Confident Yes)
  2. What won't be announced (Confident No)
  3. What might be announced (Unsure)

Confidently Yes

  • Two new phone models: iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C.
  • iPhone 5S in: White/Champagne, White/Silver, Black/Silver, Black/Black
  • iPhone 5C with plastic backs in assorted colors
  • iPhone 5C contains mostly or all iPhone 5 internals, with possible "weaker" components here and there.
  • iOS 7 GM demoed (and released to developers for download)
  • Sell and ship dates; pre-order Sept. 13 starting early in the morning, and delivered(FedEx/UPS) or on sale in store on Sept. 20.
  • iTunes 11.1 + iTunes Radio demoed; available for download late Sept 19/early Sept 20
  • AppleTV will receive some type of software update. Not sure on exact features as I haven't payed much attention to it in this beta period. AllThingsD said enchanced Home Sharing functionality to easily access your own content on foreign AppleTVs (as in ones at work or a friend's house). This plus whatever updates are being done to it to work with functionality being added in iOS 7.
  • iPhone 5S will be faster, have a better camera, support new AC Wifi get the picture. Almost all existing hardware components will improve in some way.

Confidently No

  • OS X 10.9 Mavericks will not be released
  • No 'iWatch' or whatever it is to be called (and I'm still not convinced this will ever be a product)
  • No new Apple TV hardware
  • No Mac Pro or any updates to any Macs

Not So Sure About

  • 128GB option for iPhone 5S Leaning yes. Somewhat confident
  • I'm not sure if we'll see new iPads and iPad minis, but I'm leaning towards a no given that would be a lot to announce during a single event and we've seen very little to no rumors about these. I believe the iPad event will be in October along with the new Macs and Mavericks. Leaning no. Somewhat confident.
  • iPhone 5S (maybe 5C too???) finger print scanner on the Home Button. There has been a lot of smoke about this one. Code for it was event found in the iOS 7 SDK. Leaning yes but not confident.
  • Pricing shift with regards to storage due to the 5C being introduced:
  • iPhone 5C will come in 2 sizes - 16GB and 32GB
  • iPhone 5S will come in 3 sizes too - 32GB, 64GB, and 128GB at the existing pricepoints we're used to. Leaning yes but not confident. I can't help but feel that 16GB is much too small of a storage size on their premium model 6 years in. Adding the "cheaper" iPhone 5C for casual customers allows them to keep a 16GB option and to entice those same people to spring for the 5S due to 32GB size option on the low end. While everything I’ve listed above are a lot of things, something seems missing. Perhaps there is some sort of surprise related to any of these things - or something else entirely? Only Apple knows for sure. And they tell us one way or the other, tomorrow.

Mozilla: Firefox Needs H.264 Support To Survive Shift To Mobile

Ryan Paul, at Ars Technica:

One year later, Google still hasn't followed through with that commitment. Mozilla says that it can no longer afford to wait for Google to do what it has promised. In his blog post, Eich explained that H.264 has become too deeply entrenched in the mobile space to be easily displaced and that browsers that don't support it are jeopardizing their own future relevance. "H.264 is absolutely required right now to compete on mobile. I do not believe that we can reject H.264 content in Firefox on Android or in B2G and survive the shift to mobile," he wrote. "Losing a battle is a bitter experience. I won't sugar-coat this pill. But we must swallow it if we are to succeed in our mobile initiatives." Someone over at Mozilla finally wised up.

iPhone Address Book Privacy

Jason Kottke:

13 out of 15! Zuckerberg's cell phone number! Maybe I'm being old-fashioned here, but this seems unequivocally wrong. Any app, from Angry Birds to Fart App 3000, can just grab the information in your address book without asking? Hell. No. And Curtis is right in calling Apple out about this...apps should not have access to address book information without explicitly asking. But now that the horse is out of the barn, this "quiet understanding" needs to be met with some noisy investigation. What happened to Path needs to happen to all the other apps that are storing our data. There's an opportunity here for some enterprising data journalist to follow Thampi's lead: investigate what other apps are grabbing address book data and then ask the responsible developers the same questions that were put to Path. Well put.

iPhone 4S First Weekend Sales Top Four Million


CUPERTINO, California—October 17, 2011— Apple® today announced it has sold over four million of its new iPhone® 4S, just three days after its launch on October 14. In addition, more than 25 million customers are already using iOS 5, the world’s most advanced mobile operating system, in the first five days of its release, and more than 20 million customers have signed up for iCloud®, a breakthrough set of free cloud services that automatically and wirelessly store your content in iCloud and push it to all your devices. iPhone 4S is available today in the US, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan and the UK, and will be available in 22 more countries on October 28 and more than 70 countries by the end of the year.

Detached Confusion

Earlier this week I was approached by a co-worker who comes to me often asking about the latest Apple rumor or whenever she has questions about whether or not it is a good time to by X or Y Apple product. In this instance, she asked me if the "new iPhone" was still coming out in September, just as I had told her it would when I heard the news in late May and early June saying as much. I informed her about the recent WSJ piece purporting the release data to now be set for sometime in October. She was disappointed at this news, as she has been holding out for the new iPhone since earlier this year. She had came to me in February, and I had told her to hold off until June. When the Apple enthusiast community learned it would be September, I told her to hold off again. After now telling her that it would be October, she was further disappointed. Her exact wording is what I wanted to share with you though. She specifically asked me of when the new "four" was coming out, and if she should just go "get the three". Confused, I corrected her by saying, "You mean the iPhone 4, right?". It turns out that she did not misspeak. After quizzing her further, I finally cleared up what she thought was correct. She thought the existing iPhone was the "3G" one, not really understanding the difference between the 3G and 3GS. She has seen so many Android commercials from various mobile carriers as of late, advertising 4G Android Phones, that she thought the iPhone 4 was 4G. After explaining to her the current iPhone was in fact called the iPhone 4 but that it did not carry the 4G, she immediately asked whether the iPhone coming out in the fall would have 4G. I told her I was pretty sure it would not, but that she shouldn't worry about that feature as its still very new, is in limited areas, and doesn't work very well (battery drain, etc). From the time this exchange happened a few days ago, it has kept popping up in my mind. I keep asking myself, how many other consumers are similarly confused? How many consumers, who've never owned an Android or iPhone, are now going into mobile phone stores and buying the phone the high-school grad carrier salesperson sells them because "this one has 4G so therefore it's better, and, it's just like an iPhone anyway". On top of that, you can usually go into any mobile store these days and find at least one or two Android phones available for less than $100 (the next time you hear about Android market share, step back and think of what percentage of those sales are tech illiterate people who don't actually use their new "smartphone" for anything other than a phone). I think that's why Androids are selling so well. More often than not, when I talk to co-workers who do not follow Apple-related tech news as closely as I do, I hear this type of incorrect assumption. Unfortunately, there is no way to measure which percentage of smartphone users are tech literate, and who are not. Well, there is, but that would require you to have access to all of the carrier analytics of mobile phone type vs bandwidth usage, and even then, how many of them are on Wi-Fi? I just don't think it can be measured. Be prepared to hear a lot more of "Android is winning because it has the most market share!" type arguments. Also the market is so confusing to non-tech literate consumers with tons of acronyms or model numbers they don't understand, that a poorly sophisticated marketing technique along the lines of "Hey look, your shoe is untied" is just sophisticated enough to confuse these same consumers into thinking your phone is better than a competitor. What I mean by that is carriers are advertising their networks are 4G or claiming to sell 4G phones when the 4G coverage is almost non-existent yet or they fail to mention it will reduce your battery to less than 5 hours (and result in Android blogs having to write articles like this). Other consumers are extrapolating these same assumptions to think that the model number of an iPhone also means which type of network it can connect to (iPhone 4 = 4G network). I think Apple is partially to blame by this when they decided on the name for the iPhone 3G. Apple was very un-Apple-like when they flip flopped from the iPhone, to iPhone 3G, to iPhone 3GS to iPhone 4 naming convention. For better or worse, in the interests of eliminating user confusion, I think they should call the next iPhone just "iPhone", just like they do with the iPad. Apple geeks might not like it, but I think if they take that route, and let that new naming convention sink in for the next few years, it will do a world of good in simplifying Apple's message to consumers. That message would be, "We sell one phone. That is the iPhone. If you go into any store that sells the iPhone and ask for the iPhone, you know you're getting the latest and greatest. If you want the cheaper, 'last year's model' iPhone, call it that.". That message would be much easier for the average Joe/Jane consumer to grok.

Which Is Mobile?

Jen Simmons asks, "Which is Mobile?" This is the link that Jen points to in that last tweet. This has been something that has frustrated me more and more recently. I keep clicking on links in Twitter from someone I follow, while on my iPhone or iPad, only to have the destination site try to reload the webpage as their mobile version of the site, which breaks the link and just sends me to their homepage. So let me get this straight: You've decided to implement a special, mobile version of your Web site that is going to supposedly make it easier for me to use on my iPhone or iPad (which can browse "full" versions of sites just fine, thank you very much), and your supposed "mobile friendly" version of your site actually makes it harder to use because it prevents me from arriving that the linked designation because that same link fidelity doesn't have parity with your non-mobile site. Lovely. Suffice it to say, I hate mobile sites. Just give me the full webpage, by default. Don't make me scroll to the bottom to hunt for your "Switch to full site" link, that is, if you even have one. I think Jen Simmons is spot on here.

Android Phones: Before and After the iPhone

I must have missed this when it was linked to a month or so ago on the tech blogs but the images were so compelling I felt the need to post. Andrew Warner posted a before and after shot of Android phones prior to 2007, before the first iPhone, and after 2007, once Apple's design was public. The difference is night and day.

"They’re Selling a Screen With a Giant Calculator Attached to It. It’s Not a Cool Device Anymore."

Jonathan Geller at BGR posted an excellent article about the inside working of RIM based on interviews with current and former employees at the company:

RIM was hoping to blow through the 500,000 units and have carriers take orders for millions of additional PlayBooks, but that has not happened yet. Mike Lazaridis looks at it as, why aren’t people buying this tablet when it has the most powerful engine with respect to multitasking, and supports Flash? But consumers have spoken pretty loudly a number of times, and Mike unfortunately leads the product side and continues to miss the mark with the masses, a former RIM executive told me. “I don’t even see anyone in Waterloo walking around with a PlayBook that doesn’t work for RIM,” another former RIM employee said. One of the better quotes from the piece, as highlighted by John Gruber: They’re selling a screen with a giant calculator attached to it. It’s not a cool device anymore.