With so much secrecy normally surrounding the launch of Apple products, we find ourselves in a very different, and unique, position this time around. If the numerous leaks are correct, what else can Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO have left to launch?
So prior to the keynote speech that kicks off on Monday 7 June at 6pm (UK time) it's worth looking back at what we, if the rumours are true, know already.
What will the new iPhone be called?
While the third generation iPhone had the benefit of being 3G (its connection speed) and, therefore, correctly monikered iPhone 3G or iPhone 3GS, the fourth generation iPhone isn't going to be 4G-capable (the next speed up from 3G in the US). That means Apple is likely to change the name of the handset from the confusing iPhone 4G or 4G iPhone to something more consumer friendly. So far, word on the street suggests that could be the iPhone HD.
What will the new iPhone specs be?
While nobody knows the final specs, the multiple prototypes floating around gives us a few clues as to what they are packing:
- Front-facing video chat camera
- Improved regular back-camera
- Camera flash
- Micro-SIM instead of standard SIM (like the iPad)
- Improved touchscreen display (960 x 640)
- What looks to be a secondary mic for noise cancellation
- Split buttons for volume
- Power, mute, and volume buttons are all metallic
When will I be able to buy the new iPhone?
There's plenty of talk being bandied around about when the new iPhone might hit the US and the UK. The latest date to be mooted is the rather soon 18 June.
According to Boy Genius Report, multiple "AT&T store reps report that their sales quotas for the month of June are ridiculously high". That, combined with a July launch for the iPhone 3GS in 2009, means that when Apple makes its next announcement later in the year, it can boast a massive increase in iPhone sales compared to last year's figures.
Of course, no one was buying an iPhone in June 2009 because they knew that a new model was due out in July. It's also the same trick the company used in order to boast that the iPhone 3GS did miles better than the iPhone 3G which, funnily enough, was launched in June 2008. See the pattern?
What carriers/operators be stocking the new iPhone?
In the US, AT&T is likely to be selling the new look iPhone, while in the UK there is nothing to suggest that Orange, Vodafone and O2 won't be getting it either.
What is unlikely, based on information currently available, is that Sprint or Verizon will be getting a look in in the US, or that here the UK, Apple will bow to the popularity of 3 and go with them.
As for T-Mobile, with it just merging with Orange, there's no indications to suggest it will be getting the handset any time soon.
There are, however, rumblings that the 3GS may be going to more carriers, and possibly even going on general sale contract-free.
Will the new iPhone come in a range of colours?
The first leaked prototype we saw was metal and black. Then a white one popped up. Then plenty of multi-colour mock-ups of the new model appeared online.
Based on the current offering, though, we would expect to see a white version and a black version, however, industry speculation is downplaying Apple introducing a pink, green, blue, and multiple other colours. Apple could introduce inter-changeable covers given the new design, but it's still wide open on what it will do.
What operating system will the new iPhone have?
Apple has confirmed iPhone 4.0 OS, which will be making its way into any new device it launches. And will, most likely, be available to 3GS owners too.
Will the new iPhone have a front facing camera?
If those prototypes are real, you'll be getting a front facing camera, bringing the joys of video calling to the masses almost 10 years after all the operators in the UK spent millions trying to promote it as a must have feature. If it does happen, expect the days of being able to lie to Mrs Pocket-lint about your whereabouts a thing of the past.
Will the new iPhone have a metal design?
A plastic shell makes it easier to receive calls, but with HTC showing us what's possible with the HTC Legend and the HTC Desire, Apple is expected to try to do one better with the new model. Expect metal to feature heavily in the new design.
Will the new iPhone give me 720p video recording and playback?
It can't claim to be the iPhone HD if it doesn't do either HD video recording or HD video playback. Expect the new model to do both.
Will the new iPhone have a better resolution screen?
Apple is already asking software developers to create high resolution apps for the iPad, and possibly the next generation of the yet to be confirmed Apple TV. It would make sense, therefore, to encourage higher resolution apps for the new iPhone.
Will the new iPhone be able to multi-task?
Will the new iPhone have an unlimited data package?
No. In the US, AT&T says that's not going to happen. Meanwhile, in the UK, all three operators are in the process of making their data plans more transparent, and that means losing the "unlimited" tag line from their terms and conditions.
No, seriously, what does the new iPhone offer?
Pocket-lint will be covering the event live from San Francisco with all the details as they happen, plus a hands-on with the device, if it is launched after the event. Tune into our iPhone or Apple homepages from 6pm UK time to find out more.