In meteorological terms, autumn is finally here. In the United States, this means the end to long, hot summer days, and the start of the gridiron season. Another sign that summer is over: As I’m writing this, pumpkin lattes are replacing strawberry shortcake frappuccinos at Starbucks. If you’re a geek such as myself, you also know what the arrival of Sept. 1 means: it marks the beginning of the most exciting four months on the tech calendar.
Are you still using an iPhone 4s or iPhone 5? Don’t be sucked in by the current smartphone deals at Best Buy and other retailers. Been eyeing the Roku 3? Now is not the time to give up on the Apple TV.
Trust the rumors
On Wednesday, Sept. 9, Apple will hold its annual iPhone event. Until then, expect to hear an ample supply of “iPhone 6s” and “iPhone 6s Plus” rumors. Should you believe them? With 90 percent certainty, at least.
My rule of thumb has been to trust Apple rumors published after Aug. 15 each year. This rule was broken only twice in recent years. In 2011, Apple announced the iPhone 4s, not the iPhone 5. Last year, Cupertino made a last minute decision not to release an iPhone 6 Plus with a sapphire crystal display.
With near certainty, the iPhones unveiled in eight days should feature a 12-megapixel camera and a Force Touch screen. Looking for some bling? The new iPhones should be available in a pink gold version for the first time. The new iPhones should also come with new time lapse wallpapers similar to the ones found on the Apple Watch. Additionally, it looks like Apple’s bean counters have convinced the powers to be to keep offering an entry-level 16GB model.
Will there be a colorful “iPhone 6c” announced next Wednesday? Consensus is building that there won’t be an iPhone 5c replacement as once was believed. I’ll go with the consensus for now, although my opinion may change yet again before Sept. 9.
For those still holding out hope that a redesigned iPhone arrives this year, there are two things to consider. You can’t spell iPhones announced in odd years without adding an “s” to the name; as in a small update. Finally, Apple releasing an “iPhone 7” just 12 months after the iPhone 6 would serve no purpose other than to upset millions of customers. In other words, we won’t be saying hello to the redesigned iPhone 7 until September 2016.
Odds and ends
Apple executives are said to be encamped in Hollywood hoping to score contracts for the company’s long-rumored video streaming service for Apple TV. This process isn’t expected to be completed until 2016, which doesn’t make a lot of sense, given next week’s likely arrival of the “Apple TV 4.” I wouldn’t be surprised to see Cupertino make an Apple Watch move and announce its new service next Wednesday, but note that it wouldn’t arrive until “early 2016.”
I recently replaced my LG G3 smartphone with a Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+, courtesy of my 12-month AT&T Next agreement. (As I discussed before, I have two wireless lines.) My early take: This is Samsung’s best handset to date. Will it stop the company’s recent performance slide? Probably not, thanks to the imminent arrival of the iPhone 6s Plus.
Invitations to Apple events are often analyzed for hidden clues. The invitation for next week’s iPhone-centric event is perhaps the least cryptic from the company in many years. “Hey Siri, give us a hint” clearly suggests that Apple’s voice assistant is coming to the Apple TV.
“Musings under the Apple tree” is a new weekly column about the current happenings and rumors from Cupertino, California.