SAN FRANCISCO — You might have heard something about an Apple iPhone event Tuesday.
Here’s the skinny:
1. Apple is hosting an event that starts at 10 a.m. Pacific time, 1 p.m Eastern, on Tuesday Sept. 9 at the Flint Performing Arts Center in Cupertino, Calif., Apple’s hometown.
USA Today’s tech team will be live blogging the event, plus giving readers their first impressions of the new products and breaking down the costs and benefits of an upgrade.
2. We’re expecting three major announcements — on what’s expected to be the iPhone 6; a wearable device, likely a smartwatch; and a mobile payment system in that wearable device and the new phone.
- iPhone 6. It’s likely to be bigger, and could come in two sizes — 4.7 inches and 5.5 inches. It may have a nearly indestructible screen called a sapphire display, which would be good news for everyone walking around with iPhones in plastic baggies. Downside? That type of display could add $100 to the cost of every phone. The phone would go on sale in a few weeks.
The next iPhone will carry a new version of the mobile operating system, iOS 8, which will also be available for current iPhones. Some features of iOS8 include predictive text on its keyboard and the ability to add audio and video to text messages.
- Smartwatch. Or iWatch. Or maybe iTime? At any rate, there are high expectations that Apple will make a big entrance into the wearable markets, probably by showing off a touch screen watch with a curved display, near-field communication for making payments at a cash register, plus health and fitness sensors. Rock band U2, and/or maybe fashion models, are expected to bring some glamour to the launch.
5. This unveiling, three years after Tim Cook took over from the late Steve Jobs, is seen as crucial in determining whether Cook will be able to extend Jobs’ vaunted legacy as a design innovator.
Apple’s ability to keep crafting the must-have consumer electronics product is also key to the company’s stock. Apple AAPL took a hit last week, falling below $100. It was down 0.6% at $98.36 Monday.