Apple iPhone Event Rumors: What Will, Won’t And Might Be Announced

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We’re getting close. I can almost smell that new iPhone. But what else will we see at the event? There have been plenty of rumors leading up to Wednesday’s announcement, as is often the case with Apple functions, but divining the odds on how many of those will actually come true is a thorny undertaking. Here’s a high-level overview to get your betting pools started.

The iPhone

The iPhone 5 is literally the overshadowing element of the event invite, and we’ll see it. If you bet against a new iPhone unveiling Wednesday, you should stay far away from Vegas. But what it’ll look like is more up in the air.

I provided a look at what you can expect from the iPhone 5 last week, but here’s the CliffsNotes version, along with probabilities:

  • Bigger, 4-inch diagonal screen (very high)
  • LTE (very high)
  • Redesigned dock connector (high)
  • New design with more metal and less glass (high)
  • NFC (low to nil)
  • New earbuds (medium)
  • A6 processor (high)

That’s pretty much the whole picture, discounting some of the more out-there possibilities. Here’s one thing it definitely won’t have: a discounted, ad-supported version.

iOS 6

This one’s coming. Apple telegraphed it way back at WWDC in June. Features are also already known, because Apple showed them off. Some highlights include a more knowledgeable Siri (though not necessarily a smarter one), system-level Facebook integration, call response features that allow you to answer inbound phone calls with canned or custom text messages, FaceTime over 3G (where carriers allow), Passbook, and more. All of these things are definitely coming, but Apple could always sneak a feature or two in there under the radar, though it isn’t very likely given the forensic level of attention paid to iOS 6 beta releases.

iPad mini

Steve Jobs used to seem to hate the idea of a smaller iPad, but, lately, rumors around such a device have reached a fever pitch. Truth be told, it feels a lot like the atmosphere around the original iPad’s release, which was also long-rumored before it became a reality. Is one in the works? Yes. Is one taking the stage on Wednesday. Smart money says no.

An iPad mini is a marquee product, and the iPhone is a marquee product. It’s true that they probably won’t compete with one another in any essential way, but why split the spotlight when it makes far more sense to keep the mini in your pocket as a pre-holiday special? Let fans spend on the iPhone, recover slightly, and then scratch that gift-giving itch with a smaller, more affordable version of Apple’s best-selling tablet.

Plus the Apple blog-o-sphere has already declared separate events much more likely, with The Loop’s Jim Dalrymple giving the textual equivalent of a knowing link to John Gruber’s supposition.

Facebook Integration For Mountain Lion

Apple said it was coming eventually, and the company showed it off at WWDC. Dates were set for fall, and it seems like issuing an update for OS X alongside Facebook coming to iOS makes sense. Just for the sake of symmetry. Or Apple could just as easily throw this one out quietly on its own, since it doesn’t really need the attention of an event stage. I’m 50/50 on this one.

That’s how I’m betting for Wednesday. Feel free to jump in with your own odds, or with anything else I might have missed.