This is the first time that Apple will have to "run the table" and dazzle - because iPhone now has some very strong Android competition.
The level of anticipation is absolutely amazing. Whatever Apple announces will have to be super-duper-amazing to live up to even 50% of the hype flying in every direction.
We're not 1,000% sure exactly what they're going to be announcing. Is it one new phone? Or two? Is it a new, top-of-the-line iPhone 5 – or a “super-spec'd” iPhone 4s? Or both? Or maybe neither?
Will there hints about what to expect concerning a third generation iPad? Or maybe a newly revised iPod touch? Possibly sporting a larger screen? That would make it a smaller tablet which might compete with all the soon-to-be-unleashed $199 Android tablets. Then again, maybe none of the above.
Here's what we do know. It's time for Apple to release a new phone design. It's been more than a year since the iPhone 4 was unleashed upon the smartphone buying public. Despite Apple's stupid antenna design fiasco and the Band-Aid fix), the device has been been an unquestionable success. Sales figures are through the roof and climbing.
But, unlike previous years, there is now competition for the Apple phone. Android has caught up in many, many ways. Plus, in a few cases, such as compared to Samsung's Galaxy S-II Epic 4G Touch (could Sprint make that name any longer?) the iPhone is now firmly in second place when it comes to competing for that elusive “Best Smartphone Today” title.
Let's not even begin to discuss the upcoming T-Mobile version of the Galaxy S-II. In addition to a (hopefully) shorter name – this phone will run on T-Mobile's new, "42 Mbps-capable" 4G network, have a dual-core, 1.5 GHz processor (compared to Sprint's 1.2 GHz chip) and will take Samsung's design to a whole new level.
Why do you think Apple has been giving Samsung a difficult time with patents (tablet and otherwise) in other countries? Apple knows a threat when they face one.
The iPhone 5 (or 4s, or both) will need to take advantage of AT&T and Verizon's new 4G/LTE networks to even be considered in the same league as these new super-Androids. Rumors that Apple plans to unveil it's “iCloud” storage scheme is great – but it won't be good enough.
It would also be nice if Apple could perfect voice calls on their phone(s). I know people who love the iPhone 4 (AT&T as well as Verizon models) who still curse their devices when calls are dropped. And that happens a lot more often then with any of the dozens of Android phones I've tested.
On the other hand, Apple seemingly has the semi-official lock on the buying public's hearts and minds all over the world. So as long as they make a few more changes/improvements they will continue to be heralded as the kings of mobile media.
But, this year Apple hears the competition's collective footsteps getting louder and louder. The din must be almost deafening, at this point.