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What to expect from Apple's iPhone event Tuesday

On Tuesday, Apple will likely unveil a new iPhone, probably called the iPhone 4S.

By Matthew Shaer / October 3, 2011

Apple has a major press event scheduled for Wednesday. And a new iPhone is almost certainly in the works. Here, a man stands outside a new Apple store in China.



Last week, Apple sent out invitations to a press event at company HQ, in Cupertino, Calif. Apple has remained predictably mum on the precise details of the event – ginning up buzz and mystery being something of an Apple specialty – but the invites were emblazoned with the words "Let's talk iPhone."

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So, hey, what will Apple call its next-generation smartphone? Well, in the past, all smart money was on "iPhone 5," but now it appears more likely that Apple is going with the moniker "iPhone 4S." Over at Apple Insider, Arnold Kim reports that Vodafone Germany is already displaying a bunch of listings for an iPhone 4S, in variations ranging from 16 GB to 64 GB capacities.

There's another narrative that says the iPhone 4S will be a budget version of a new iPhone 5 – but this is where early rumors start to conflict. All will be clear tomorrow.

As for what the device will look like, Mark Gurman of 9 to 5 Mac speculates that the iPhone 4S will look a lot like the iPhone 4. "[T]he evidence for an iPhone redesign is super slim: no SDK references, no iTunes references, no hints of such a phone being in production, no sources spotting such devices. Nothing," Gurman writes. "If Apple pulls an iPhone 5 redesign out on Tuesday, it will be a major and almost unheard of surprise."

But there is word that Apple will likely incorporate improved voice control features on the new iPhone, probably with the help of an interface called Assistant. ZDNet's James Kendrick says Apple "will no doubt make Assistant very natural for the user," but he warns that the company will have to first deal with a pair of problems: the problem of background noise and the problem of preventing the user from feeling completely silly when he uses Assistant.


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