Five things to expect from Apple this evening

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10 September 2013 | 0

At 6pm this evening Tim Cook will introduce the first round of Apple products expected to light up the last quarter of the year. The line-up will be familiar at this stage – new iPods and iPhones are a dead cert – so what can Apple bring that will electrify its fanbase? Will is play to its dedicated following at all? We’re expecting a greater focus on developing markets and at least one surprise. So here goes our wishlist…

New iPhones – 5S and 5C
Since the iPhone 4 Apple has been suffering a law of diminishing returns on smartphone sales. Apple could operate a profitable business off its mobile devices alone, but it has lost ground to Samsung. Figures released by analytics firm StatCounter yesterday show the South Korean company overtake Apple in global mobile Web browsing traffic, accounting for 25.7% of all mobile Internet traffic, versus Apple’s 23.4%.
The key to Samsung’s success has been a wider range of products and a global presence, factors Apple needs to work on.
Speculation is we could see two models of iPhone announced: a 5S to act as a successor to the iPhone 5 and the iPhone 5C – a lower cost handset for emerging markets, like China.

IPods
Yes, Apple still makes iPods. The market for media players has been in steady decline since the smartphone went mainstream. Sales figures for Q3 2013 of 4.6 million units were down 32% over the same period last year.
The current shuffle, nano and touch models are in line for their regular battery and form factor tweaks. At this stage, you have to wonder about the iPod classic. Yes, it has the biggest storage capacity of the rest of the range but it can’t run apps and doesn’t have the same casual appeal as the shuffle.

More on the Mac Pro
“Can’t innovate anymore, my ass.” Senior VP of marketing Phil Schiller got the biggest cheer at the Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) last June as he introduced the Mac Pro. Developers and multimedia professioanls have been giddy about it ever since Price-conscious consumers are unlikely to be moved beyond an appreciation of the new workstation’s circular form factor. We reckon a release date and price will be revealed.

Software release dates
More spill-over from WWDC. Form suggests iOS 7 could be made available as soon as tonight. OS X 10.9 Mavericks, the latest desktop operating system, is rumoured to be hitting the App Store in October.
Also expected are a refresh of the Apple TV software and an expansion of its catalogue.
Would it be too much to expect a European roll-out of iTunes Radio? Probably.

And what we won’t be seeing
Apple has scheduled another event focusing on the iPad – we’re guessing – for October. As Samsung’s Galaxy Gear smartwatch hit the shelves that month the timing would be right to show just how smartwatches ‘should be done’.
The Apple TV set remains MIA.

 

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