After all the buzzing, “leaks” and anonymous sources, we’re finally going to find out about the next iPhone direct from the source.
Apple has formally announced it’ll be having an iPhone event on Oct. 4 in its home town of Cupertino, California. The company is sending invites to journalists this morning, and one was posted by Ars Technica that included an image of four iOS icons arranged into a graphic. The icons show the date and time of the event, plus the iOS map icon and the phone icon. Beneath the graphic are the words, “Let’s talk iPhone.”
That’s unusually specific for Apple when it comes to these things. If you remember, the iPad 2 announcement invitations were just a graphic with a big calendar date on them. Then again, so much information has been swirling around the event that it makes sense that Apple wants to really kick up the buzz. A rumor came out earlier this week that Facebook intends to launch its long-awaited iPad app on Oct. 4 alongside the iPhone, and at the same time, rumors that Amazon is about to announce its Kindle Fire tablet have been growing, as well.
It’s well known that when a competitor plans something big, Apple tries to steal the spotlight: it did the exact same thing with the Motorola Xoom’s release earlier this year, choosing the Xoom’s launch date as the day it sent out invites to its March iPad 2 announcement.
It also seems that everything we heard from AllThingsD last week was, in fact, true. The announcement is taking place in Cupertino rather than San Francisco, which is definitely different, and on the specific date mentioned before. That probably means a lot of things as well, including the imminent release of iOS 5, the next update to Apple’s mobile operating system. Rumors had pegged that date as being somewhere around Oct. 11. Very likely, the operating system could go live anytime between Oct. 4 and the next week; Apple CEO Tim Cook may even announce its availability from the stage.
A big day for Tim Cook
Speaking of Cook, this is a big announcement for him, and that might explain some of these big changes in the way Apple announces products. The specificity of the iPhone, the move to Cupertino – these are out-of-the-ordinary happenings that tend to underscore this event when compared to earlier ones led by former CEO Steve Jobs. When Jobs announced he was leaving that post (but remaining as chairman of Apple’s board), investors got a little worried that Apple wouldn’t be the same, despite Cook having been running Apple as Jobs was away on medical leave for much of 2011.
It makes sense that Apple is making this announcement special, because it’s not only the debut of a new iPhone, in many ways, it’s the debut of Cook as well. So Apple is bringing journalists closer to home, stoking excitement about the iPhone possibilities. And those possibilities, it seems, are many: we’ve heard that it could be not one, but two iPhones coming out in 2011, or either of the two rumored models.
The iPhone 5, it’s said, is a big update from the iPhone 4 with a different case design and better internal components. The iPhone 4S, on the other hand, is much more like its predecessor, but includes a better processor and maybe camera. The possibility of both models has been confirmed, denied, doubted and championed by multiple sources at this point. Only Apple knows what it really has planned.
But if there’s a plus in the column for the two models rumor, it’s that Apple seems to want to make a big splash this time out, bigger even than its usual (admittedly big) splashes. It can only help the company if it can prove that it, and its new CEO, can be just as good or even better post-Jobs.