What to expect from Apple’s 9 September event

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The invites are out, anticipation is building, and all over the world people are ‘accidentally’ dropping their last-gen iPhones and readying their insurance claims.

Yes, Apple’s holding a launch event this week at the Flint Center for Performing Arts, in Cupertino, the venue where Steve Jobs introduced the original iMac. The countdown to the 9/9/2014 event has begun, and can be viewed on Apple’s site.

So what shiny new iThings will we all get to see on the day? We’ve put on our best guessing hat to make a few predictions…

1. IPHONE 6

iPhoneApple’s next-generation iPhone, to replace the 5s at the top of the line (probably – see the next item), and make everyone scream that the company is doomed if it doesn’t sell 50 million units in approximately five seconds. (Apple will then sell 50 million units in approximately five seconds and people will yell Apple’s doomed anyway.)

You can expect the device to have a bigger screen, be insanely powerful, and to make every anti-Apple Android device owner throw their toys out of the pram regarding Apple ‘copying’ Android by finally making a larger smartphone.

Likelihood: 100%

The only way this won’t occur is if Tim Cook tears off his face, to reveal the grinning visage of Bill Gates, who’ll yell SURPRISE! and break the news that Apple’s entire history has been a Microsoft prank.

2. IPHONE 6L

An embiggened iPhone 6, supposedly with a 5.5-inch screen, possibly also doubling, in a pinch, as a surfboard.

Rumours suggest it might have a kind of super-Retina display, a ginormous battery, and be a considerable amount pricier than the iPhone 6. On the plus side, anyone who really wanted the iPad Mini to be a phone will be in luck.

Likelihood: 70%

Parts have supposedly been spotted, but rumours are the device has been delayed. It also somehow doesn’t seem very Apple-like to fragment the iPhone line so much. On the other hand, ginormophones are where the profits are, and Apple likes to be surrounded by lovely, lovely profits.

3. IPHONE 6C

To the iPhone 6 what the iPhone 5c was to the iPhone 5s. In other words, a previous-generation top-end iPhone wrapped in plastic, that precisely no-one asked for, and that won’t be cheap, because Apple doesn’t do cheap. No parts have leaked, but then perhaps everyone was distracted by the sheer size of the iPhone 6L.

Likelihood: 10%

We won’t discount this entirely, because it could happen, but sales of the 5c were dwarfed by those of the 5s, which was more profitable. Instead, expect the 5s to take the 5c’s slot, the 5c to take the 4s’s slot, and the 4s to be dumped on a few select countries but made unavailable elsewhere.

4. IOS 8

The new operating system for iPhones and iPads. With iOS 7, Apple made major visual changes; but with iOS 8, it’s all about the architecture. Apple’s being surprisingly open, in enabling you to swap out keyboards, and boosting sharing/integration options for apps. There’s also Continuity, meaning iPhones will communicate with Macs in very clever ways, and a bunch of other stuff that we are expecting. It all looks rather spiffy.

Likelihood: 100%

The new iPhones will ship with iOS 8, and it’ll then be a free download for compatible devices. If it’s not made available on 9/9, we’ll at least get the date for ISPs to add ‘We hate you, Apple’ to their diaries.

5. OS X YOSEMITE

OS X YosemiteThe latest version of OS X. Apple’s revamp for OS X is sort-of set to do what iOS 7 did for the iPhone and iPad. The system gets a visual overhaul that’s flatter and simpler, but there are also architectural changes (Continuity) and improved features (a revamped Spotlight; an enhanced Notification Center with widgets). Again, we’ve already written about this in depth, so we’ll heroically avoid copying and pasting that entire article here. Because we care.

Likelihood: 10%

Apple doesn’t like crossing the streams at events, so we won’t be surprised if OS X Yosemite barely gets a mention. Additionally, it’s very unlikely to be ready to download, given the buggy beta that was only just issued. We suspect Yosemite proper will be released in October.

6. SOME KIND OF PAYMENT FEATURE

NFC or similar shenanigans. There have long been rumours iPhones will include some kind of payment system. A Wired report has said this will now become a reality, but people claimed the same last year – and the year before.

If this does happen, Apple will probably come up with a clever brand name, and you’ll be able to pay for things by waggling your iPhone at a receiver, assuming the place you’re buying something from actually has a compatible receiver. Otherwise, you’ll just be waggling your iPhone around and people will look at you as though you’re a bit strange. Plus, it won’t work over here – not at launch, anyway.

Likelihood: 50%

Yep, we’re hedging our bets. But if this is coming, it’s been kept fairly heavily under wraps – unless no-one really cares any more.

7. IWATCH

iWatch RowAn Apple wearable, which no-one knows anything about, and so has fuelled rumour-mill furnaces like the hearts of a billion suns.

We’ve taken a few trips to Guessville, as has most of the tech industry, in trying to out-Apple Apple before Apple’s even Appled. Still, we expect something watchish that could help track your health and enable you to more often leave your new, giant iPhone in your extra-large pocket, through being able to deal with notifications via a new, expensive, ‘magical’ device attached to your wrist.

Likelihood: 80%

If the stars align, Tim Cook and his cohorts will announce the device, but it’s unlikely you’ll be able to buy one right away, unless it’s initially an Apple-only closed box – more iPod nano than iPod touch.

8. AN APPLE TELEVISION

Likelihood: 0%

Sorry, Apple analyst Gene Munster, but it ain’t gonna happen. We might see a revamped Apple TV, however. And by ‘might’, we mean ‘hope’.

9. IPAD AIR 2

A new iPad. The iPad’s updated at least annually, and the iPad Air arrived last November. On that basis, a new iPad sometime soon is going to happen. Reports suggest it’ll be very similar to the iPad Air, but with added Touch ID; internally, it’ll get incremental upgrades, so it can keep up with new iPhones. But will it be a part of this event?

Likelihood: 25%

Last year, September was all about the iPhone. This year, there’s more to say about the iPhone. Expect the iPad brand to get a mention during any talk about iOS 8, but for new models to get their own event in October.

10. GINORMOUS NEW 12.9-INCH IPAD

A new iPad that’s really big. As per our report, not a great deal’s known about this possibly non-existent Apple product, but it makes sense – Apple wants to keep up interest and demand regarding tablets, and a larger display would enhance the device’s capabilities in certain scenarios, not least rumoured split-screen multitasking. But will it be announced on the 9th?

Likelihood: 0%

Nope. We’re pretty sure of this one. If a larger iPad does arrive, it’ll probably be next year; even if not, it’ll be revealed at an iPad-focused event.

11. NEW MACS

Loads of rumours are knocking about regarding new Macs. The iMac and MacBook Air are practically screaming for a Retina display, and the Mac Mini’s not seen a lot of love in a while. But, again, Apple doesn’t usually like mixing up its events too much, and we imagine it’d want to give such updates room to breathe – perhaps in an October Mac-focused event.

Likelihood: 20%

Unlikely, but possible. But then anything’s possible. What, you thought there was science behind these numbers? Sorry.

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