IPhone 6: Industry sets the stage ahead of Apple's big reveal

The stage is set. The industry - apart from Apple - has laid its cards on the table, leaving it up to Apple to woo us as we run towards Christmas Day.

There will be time to play catch-up: Google still has its Android L event some time in October, and we might see the odd release from others inbetween, but for most of the industry, the direction it will be going in until January and CES 2015 has been detailed.

In the mobile sphere the focus will be on the Note 4 for Samsung, for Sony it's the new Xperia series, Motorola has the Moto G and Moto X, and Nokia mid-range devices as it continues to look for a flagship that will challenge.

HTC is likely to hope that the HTC One M8 has enough to carry it through to Spring next year, while LG will be pushing its very good G3 handset, and rightly so.

So it is left to Apple, who've managed once again to hover over the announcements made in Berlin without actually being there or saying anything, to have its turn.

Apple is clearly excited, seemingly more so than usual, launching a countdown timer for launch day even a calendar update so you definitely won't miss it.

The company has piled on the pressure too. If the countdown timer wasn't enough, the launch event is in the same venue as Apple famously launched the Mac 30 years ago. Without really any major launches so far this year, the bases, as the Americans would say, are heavily loaded.

The rumour mill, allowed to spiral out of control, is finally starting to settle too.

The general consensus is that we will see an iPhone 6, maybe two, and also an iWatch, which won't be available straight away.

Joining the dots and seeing what industry types, journalists, analysts, and even friends have to say, it is clear that Apple will play heavily towards its belief that creating the perfect ecosystem puts everything together.

Continuity or handoff as it is known, is already being enjoyed by those using the OS X and iOS 8 beta programmes and allows far greater connectivity between devices than ever before. When the system launches, those using both an iPhone and Mac will very quickly find that they are texting cross platform, answering calls across devices, as the lines blur between Apple products.

It's this handoff that is likely to be key element in the iWatch and the part of the Apple announcement that is sure to get the crowd whooping like they did at the original iPhone launch.

Siri is also likely to play a huge part in the show. We can't see Apple settling for both Google Now, and Microsoft's Cortana assistant letting just speak to your phone without pressing a button. Even for Microsoft, pressing a button is so mid-range now, and if Motorola can let you say what you want, why can't Siri?

It could explain why the invite says "wish we could say more", but then we could also let our minds race ahead of us and tell you that shadow is about time too. It's probably just a shadow.

When your new phone and watch aren't being ordered around, it is also likely to be used to pay for stuff on the high street.

Contactless payment and using NFC has always been a chicken and egg experience. It won't take off until the infrastructure is there, but that's not going to happen until there are devices around to let that happen.

Guess what, most places in the UK and US now take contactless payments making it the perfect time to enter the market. Whether it is your local Tesco or the whole of the London Underground, retail and the banks are finally embracing it.

Add that to the notion that Apple should be able to add a layer of security to the experience, either through fingerprint or even a secondary device (unlikely on the second part) and everything that Apple has been doing over the last couple of years in this area starts to make sense. While it's left it until now to enter into that arena, it wants people to be able to use it straight away, rather than have to hunt it out.

We've said it before and we will say it again. Apple likes to sell an idea to its customers to such a point where, by the time the device or service comes to market, you feel like you just have to have it. It did it with the iPhone (rumoured for about two years before its debut) and again with the iPad. Before the iPad launch we all questioned why we would want a tablet, and now for many, they couldn't perceive a day without one.

So come 9 September it's Apple's turn to shine. It's Apple's turn to tell us what it believes we should be doing with our connected devices over the next 6 to 12 months.

The industry has had its turn, and while there have been some exciting announcements, you can't help notice that everyone is waiting with bated breath for Apple to make its next move.

Whether you are an Apple fan or not, we've got to the point where we just want to know, so at least we can say yay or nay. And if it's nay, look forward to getting excited about the next big thing.

Pocket-lint will be covering the Apple event live as it happens on Tuesday 9 September. See you then.