The Apple rumors are about to come to an end. That’s because Apple will roll out new products at a Tuesday event that will change the story from speculation to analysis in an instant.
Apple's 1-hour launch event starts September 9 at 10 a.m. Pacific time, 1 p.m Eastern today, at the Flint Performing Arts Center in Apple's hometown of Cupertino, California. The event will be live streamed on Apple's site and you can check back here throughout the day and all week for ongoing coverage and reactions.
In the meantime, we caught up with Jeff Kagan, an independent technology analyst, to get his final thoughts on the rumored iPhone 6 and iWatch before the expected official launch. He told us he does expect to see a new iPhone 6, a larger iPhone, the iWatch, and the next upgrade to the iOS operating system -- iOS 8.
“Will we see a phablet or other surprise? No one knows yet. Apple likes to surprise,” Kagan said. “Remember all those Steve Jobs ‘one more thing’ moments? So stay tuned.”
Kagan personally would like to see some new features and improvements to the basic iPhone design. Specifically, he sees the need for a waterproof and shockproof iPhone that holds up better if you drop it.
“We are aware of the new screen, which is more durable,” Kagan said. “That’s a good start, but Apple needs to deliver more to satisfy their users.”
Betting on Big
Kagan rightly noted that Apple CEO Tim Cook has been stoking the fires about how 2014 would be a spectacular year for Apple with new product launches. He’s sitting back, waiting and hoping it’s truly spectacular.
Industry watchers expect the iWatch to make its way to the market and Morgan Stanley analysts are already analyzing its potential success. In a recent report, the firm boiled down its success to brand loyalty.
"In our view, Apple will introduce a device with more sensors, and better form factor and aesthetics than competing devices in the market priced at $100-$250," Morgan Stanley said in a research note. Against that backdrop, the firm expects Apple to sell the iWatch for $300, which would equate to at least a 40 percent profit margin.
At the very least, Kagan is looking forward to seeing many of the rumored features, including iHealth, the NFC (near-field communication) hardware and software that will make mobile payments a reality.
“The new iPhone will make mobile payments easier by including a near-field communication chip for the first time, the person said,” Bloomberg’s Matt Townsend reported, citing a person familiar with Apple's plans. “That advancement along with Touch ID, a fingerprint recognition reader that debuted on the most recent iPhone, will allow consumers to securely pay for items in a store with the touch of a finger.”
What About Security?
Tech giant Apple is taking the iCloud hack that revealed naked selfies of various celebrities seriously. The iPhone-maker plans to roll out new security measures to keep its users, whether celebrities or everyday Joes, safe. Kagan expects security issues to play a role at the event and beyond.
“How Apple and Tim Cook will address the security issues which occurred last week will also be interesting. This could have the effect of throwing cold water on a spark. Or if Apple handles it well, it could be a way to ignite the fire,” Kagan said. “Either way users expect this will be another successful launch and this will be another successful year for Apple.”