FORTUNE -- Fall holds different meanings for different people, but for many technorati, this September will likely see the unveiling of another all-new iPhone. Indeed, next month's news may prove more newsworthy than years past if some of the speculation is right. Will Apple (AAPL) finally introduce a new, cheaper iPhone? Could the high-end model sport fingerprint-sensing technology? What else is in store?
Until Apple's reported September 10 event, we'll have to content ourselves with the rumors. Here's a roundup of what the blogosphere is currently salivating over:
An all-new, cheap iPhone
Truth or misguided gossip? Analysts, pundits, and blogs have long talked about a new, "cheap" -- largely dubbed in the press as the iPhone 5C -- iPhone for over a year now. Last January, Topeka Capital Markets analyst Brian White told Fortune that there's substantial market opportunity abroad in China for such a product, where the average consumer doesn't have as large a discretionary income. More recently, Piper Jaffray's Gene Munster suggested such a device would replace the older 4S model and possibly exclude software features like the voice-activated assistant Siri.
When Apple acquired fingerprint-sensor maker AuthenTec Inc. for $350 million last year, some wondered how such technology could find its way into iPhones, iPads and the like. KGI Securities argues the new high-end iPhone -- let's just call it the iPhone 5S -- will integrate a sensor allowing users to potentially log in by simply pressing a finger to the screen. A security feature like that would prove even quicker, easier, and more secure than the current method of inputting a four-digit code.
Once in a while, Apple likes to get colorful. (Look no further than today's iPod Touch or iPod nano as proof.) The buzz around the crop of iPhones is that they may come in flavors other than black and white, which let's face it, aren't even technically colors, according to scientists. The 5C could come in an array of hues not unlike the Touch or nano; the 5S could expand to models with a gold frame.
A larger screen
When Apple announced the iPhone 5 last fall, Jony Ive, senior vice president of design, explained why 4 inches was a sweet spot: "By making the screen taller, but not wider, you can see more of your content but still comfortably use it with one hand." But as devices from competitors bear out, there's a large swath of users who prefer their smartphones screens even larger. To wit, although sales of Samsung's 5-inch Galaxy S4 are lower than analysts expected, the company still sold 10 million units within a month of launch. In Apple's case, reports claim the new iPhone -- or at least one iPhone -- may sport a screen between 4.5- to 5-inches.
New iPod Touch
Some bloggers are calling for the end of the iPod Touch entirely, but more likely than not, Apple won't kill its iPhone-like music player any time soon. This May, Apple reported it had sold 100 million units since the Touch hit the market in late 2007. Clearly, demand for the device is still there, so chances are Apple will introduce a new Touch with slightly-beefed up parts inside, keeping in lockstep with the company's oft-held tradition of tossing in a Jobs-ian "one more thing" toward the end.
The picture of an Apple device being disrupted by Apple itself.
FORTUNE -- It's easy to forget that only six years ago the iPod was Apple's (AAPL) biggest money maker, generating (in Q1 2007) more than 48% of the company's revenue. Now the iPod is almost an afterthought in quarterly reports dominated by the iPhone, iPad and Mac -- second-to-last among Apple's six revenue streams, below iTunes and above Accessories.
The last MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Apr 15, 2013 6:04 AM ET
This year 48% want an iPad, up from 31% in 2010 and 44% in 2011
FORTUNE -- Nielsen released the results of its annual "iHoliday" survey of U.S. children's Christmas wish lists Tuesday, and once again Apple (AAPL) dominated four of the five top spots (see Nielsen graphic below).
What interested us was that despite increased competition in both the tablet and smartphone markets, the kids' attraction to the Apple brand has MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Nov 21, 2012 9:14 AM ET
A record of the Android phones and tablets that downloaded a single app over 6 months
FORTUNE -- Suddenly you can see the advantage -- both for developers and users -- of Apple's (AAPL) approach of limiting the number of iOS devices on sale at any time to a handful of iPads, iPhones and iPod touches.
Google (GOOG) executive chairman Eric Schmidt downplays the challenge of knowing ahead of time which Android MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - May 17, 2012 10:40 AM ET
If you count the iPad and iPod touch, it looks like iOS by about 1.6 million units
Without a press release from Apple (AAPL) crowing about their Christmas sales, we're forced to rely on data from a mobile analytics firm and tweets from a Google (GOOG) senior vice president to make some rough guesses.
Here's what we know:
According to Flurry Analytics -- which claims it can detect "roughly 100%" of all new smartphone and tablet MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Dec 28, 2011 7:24 AM ET
Cupertino's largest acquisition since it bought Steve Jobs' NeXT in 1997
According to Reuters, Apple (AAPL) has sealed the deal that was rumored last week to buy Anobit, the Israeli company that makes the flash memory technology used in Apple's iPhones, iPads and MacBook Airs.
For Apple, this is a big acquisition, both in dollar terms and in technology. The price -- a reported $500 million -- is larger than the $472 MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Dec 20, 2011 6:40 AM ET
Biggest savings on Macs. Best deals on accessories. But beware the malware.
Apple (AAPL) posted its Black Friday sale prices at 12:01 a.m. Pacific Time Friday and they were exactly as rumored.
The savings on Apple-branded products range from a high of 15.94% on $69 accessories like the Magic Trackpad to 7.02% -- less than the sales tax in 25 states -- on the $299 Time Capsule 2TB.
A guide to the best deals:
WARNING: MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Nov 25, 2011 6:30 AM ET
The iPod touch (30%) and iPhone (27%) came in second and third in the 2011 wish list
Apple's (AAPL) iPad topped a new Nielsen survey of the most desired electronics products among young Americans this holiday season.
Among kids 6-12, Apple scored a hat trick, with the iPad (44%) first, the iPod touch (30%) second and the iPhone (27%) third.
In a similar survey last year, the iPad came in first at 31% and MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Nov 17, 2011 1:12 PM ET
Who needs a staffer when you can scan, pay and walk out of the store unattended?
[UPDATE: The new version of the Apple Store app finally arrived Tuesday, Nov. 8, a few days later than expected. You can get it here.]
Apple (AAPL) has two problems its competitors would kill for: 1) It can't build new product fast enough to meet demand and 2) its stores are over-crowded with customers clamoring for MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Nov 2, 2011 10:44 AM ET
StatCounter's number is lower, but shows Apple's mobile share surging 33.6% since July
The presence of Apple's (AAPL) mobile devices on the Web surged this summer and early fall according to Net Applications and StatCounter, two leading mobile analytics services, although the two firms draw very different conclusions about where that leaves competing platforms.
Net Applications, which monitors hits on its 40,000 client sites and weighs the results based on population statistics, MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Nov 1, 2011 7:59 AM ET
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