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What to Expect From Today’s iPhone Media Event

What to Expect From Today’s iPhone Media Event

We are a few hours removed from Apple’s iPhone media event , and there certainly has been a great deal of rumor and speculation circulating about the event. We’ve compiled the latest rumors together in the hopes of giving you a better idea of what may be revealed at today’s event.

Redesigned iPhone 5 – Possible

While many pundits are beginning to doubt whether or not Apple will release an iPhone 5 with a redesigned exterior and a larger screen, it still remains a possibility.

iPhone 5 cases have been showing up in numerous inventory databases, including databases at the AT&T retail store, with specific brands and models of iPhone 5 cases being referenced, suggesting that case manufacturers are actually manufacturing iPhone 5 cases. One report even suggests that such cases have already arrived at AT&T stores, and provides a photograph.

It’s also worth noting that a number of analysts are still expecting a redesigned iPhone 5 to be announced, including Ticonderoga analyst Brian White, who revealed as much earlier today. Typically well-sourced media outlets have also spoken out suggesting that Apple will be releasing a redesigned iPhone 5, including ThisIsMyNext and the Wall Street Journal. A further rumor even suggests that the iPhone 5 has already hit AT&T’s inventory system.

While there may not have been any part leaks or iTunes references to suggest that Apple will be releasing an iPhone 5, it’s entirely possible that Apple has done an excellent job of concealing the details of the next-gen handset, possibly even manufacturing iPhone 5 casing materials in their own facilities. It’s also worth noting that every successive iPhone so far has been thinner than the previous, and it would seem natural for Apple to update the iPhone to more closely resemble the brushed aluminum appearance of the iPad and current Macs.

I, for one, still would not be surprised if Apple released a redesigned iPhone 5 at today’s media event.

iPhone 4S – Likely

Reports of an iPhone 4S, which is essentially a revamped version of the iPhone 4 with a similar casing and better internal hardware, have been gaining a significant amount of traction.

Part leaks, entries into Apple’s retail database, and a supposed internal reference found in the latest developer beta of iTunes 10.5 all suggest that Apple may release such a device.

Cheaper (Sub $100) iPhone 4 – Very Likely

A number of recent reports are claiming that Apple will release a cheaper iPhone 4 with only 8GB of internal memory. Supposed photographs from within Foxconn’s Brazil manufacturing facility and supposed listings of the cheaper device in Apple’s inventory list back up this claim. With the 16GB iPhone 4 already selling for $99 in some carrier deals, a cheaper 8GB iPhone 4 selling for less than $100 (or even free with contract) seems likely.

iPhone with A5 processor, 1GB of RAM – Almost Certain

Almost all who have chimed in on the subject of future iPhones agree that Apple will include their latest A5 processor in the next-gen iPhone, whether Apple releases the iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, or both. Further reports suggest that Apple will double the RAM to 1GB in order to support new features of iOS 5. The A5 processor woud bring significantly enhanced graphic performance to the next-gen handset.

Carrier Unlock – Almost Certain

With the next-gen iPhone rumored to be released on a much wider number of carriers than the iPhone 4, including Sprint, there is a strong possibility that Apple will sell all iPhones purchased at full retail price as carrier unlocked, like they are currently doing with the iPhone 4.

iOS 5 – Certain

Apple will discuss the release of iOS 5, likely unveil new features of iOS 5 that will be specific to their next-gen iPhone, and will announce when the iOS 5 firmware will be available to download. It’s also likely that they’ll release the Gold Master of iOS 5 to developers on the day of the event.

  • Assistant – Very Likely

Apple has been rumored to include a new artificial intelligence-powered replacement for their current Voice Control system, which will enable you to control your phone, look up information, set appointments and more all with the sound of your voice. 9to5Mac has written extensively about the feature, MacRumors has mocked up what it is likely to look like, and SIRI has seemingly acknowledged that it exists in an interview with 9to5Mac.

  • Speech-to-text Functionality – Very Likely

9to5Mac has also reported that iOS 5 will support advanced speech-to-text and voice transcription on next-generation iPhone hardware, and has provided images of the feature in action on test devices.

iCloud – Certain

Apple has already shown iCloud to the world, and has been preparing to launch the service through developer previews of OS X 10.7.2, iTunes 10.5 and iOS 5. Apple will almost certainly announce the public release date of iCloud to the world at their event.

4G Data – Likely

Although it’s unlikely that Apple’s next iPhone will support the ultra-fast LTE 4G standard, reports have suggested that the device will feature support for HSPA+ 21Mbps “4G” data. While it’s debatable whether the technology should be called 4G, it’s the natural next-step considering that the Verizon iPhone 4 already supports the 14.4Mbps version of the standard.

8MP camera – Very Likely

Numerous reports have suggested that the iPhone 4S or iPhone 5 will contain an 8MP camera, and almost all commenting on the matter agree that the next-gen iPhone will feature an 8MP camera, possibly with support for 1080p video recording.

Dual-Mode “World Phone” – Very Likely

Nearly all who have chimed in on the next-gen iPhone rumors agree that the next iPhone will support all current Apple carrier partner’s mobile networks using only a single model of iPhone. Separate GSM and CDMA iPhones are almost certainly a thing of the past.

Faebook Integration / Facebook For iPad – Possible

Reent rumors have suggested that Apple may announce Facebook integration for iOS 5, and that Mark Zuckerberg may even unveil Facebook for iPad at the event. While it’s possible that Apple might allow Zuckerberg to show off Facebook for iPad (as they do generally have developers on stage to demonstrate their apps), no indication has been found that iOS 5 will include Facebook integration.

Tim Cook to present – Nearly Certain

There is almost a 100% chance that Tim Cook will lead the presentation today. While there have been rumors that Steve Jobs may be in attendance, no such rumors have been confirmed, and contrary rumors have suggested that Jobs is not well enough to attend.

iPod Classic Gets Discontinued, New iPod Nano, White iPod touch – Possible

While many have been wondering when Apple will discontinue the iPod Classic, no firm indication has been given that it will happen at this event. Further, no concrete evidence has surfaced for either a white iPod touch or a new iPod nano to be unveiled at the event, though they remain possible. A White iPod touch has reportedly been spotted in Apple’s inventory system, but the report has not been confirmed.

Whatever Apple does or does not release at today’s event, you can be sure it will be an exciting series of announcements, and that Apple will release some very impressive new hardware and features that should come as welcome sights to their many fans.

Smart Cover – Possible

As many did not expect the Smart Cover to be announced alongside the iPad 2, might we see something similar come to the next-gen iPhone?