10 Things to Expect (and Not to Expect) from Apple’s iPhone Announcement

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FOLLOW-UP: Apple Unveils More Powerful Fingerprint-Scanning iPhone 5S, Multi-Colored iPhone 5C

You’re here because you’re either a tech enthusiast who skipped reading one of the other 10,000 “What to Expect from Apple’s iPhone Announcement” posts on the Internet today to wait for this one for some reason, or you’re looking for some sort of insight into an event that will be taking place so soon (1PM Eastern/10AM Pacific on Tuesday, September 10) that it’ll render this entire post moot in a hot minute.

Whatever the case, here are some arbitrary predictions about what is and isn’t going to happen at the Apple event — the only given being that they won’t all come true.

Follow along with us live tomorrow and keep score! If you don’t find my writing style abrasive, this could be fun for you; if you do find my writing style abrasive, it’ll be therapeutic to see how many of these I get wrong. Win? Win.

1. Apple will announce a new iPhone.

Surprise! All bets are on something called the iPhone 5S, which will apparently look like last year’s iPhone 5 but will (definitely) be faster, (probably) have a better camera and (maybe) have a fingerprint reader that doubles as the home button so you can swipe your finger instead of entering your passwords.

This will likely be a similar pattern we saw with the iPhone-4-to-iPhone-4S update. The iPhone 4S looked like the iPhone 4 but was faster, featured a better camera and included Siri.

Something called the iPhone 5C has also been rumored for quite some time. Bets are on a cheaper, plastic version of the iPhone – possibly a no-contract version – and available in a variety of colors. If this new, cheaper iPhone is announced, many people will instantly dismiss it, but the immediate reaction will have absolutely no bearing on its actual success.

2. Apple will not unveil a smartwatch.

The technology available to make a smartwatch that doesn’t look like the gadget equivalent of Nick Nolte’s mug shot doesn’t exist. Read Tim Bajarin’s excellent analysis for more about why Apple won’t be making a smartwatch for a while.

3. Apple will not unveil new iPads.

This is a small event at Apple headquarters, not a big event at the Moscone Center where other Apple events are often held. The scuttlebutt is that Apple’s new iOS 7 software is going to take a bit longer to make its way to iPads. If that’s true, there’s little reason for Apple to roll out new iPads without the new software. Although it’d be a nice surprise to see new iPads announced alongside the new iPhone(s), I’d bet on a separate iPad event in the not-too-distant future.

4. Apple will open the event with an Apple-centric view of the iOS/Android wars and how Apple is faring in said wars.

Expect talk about the number of apps, how enterprises have embraced the iPhone and iPad, and stuff like that.

5. Apple exec Phil Schiller will be wearing a button-down shirt in the blue/gray/green/tan spectrum.

Every time. This one’s a lead-pipe lock. I wouldn’t be shocked to learn it’s the same shirt, just in different colors, but I can’t be sure.

This one’s from June, 2013:


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This one’s from October, 2012:


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This one’s from September, 2012:


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This one’s from June, 2012:


Bloomberg / Getty Images

This one’s from March, 2012:


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This one’s from January, 2012:


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October, 2011:


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June, 2011:


AFP / Getty Images

I mean, you get the idea, right? The tan one, especially, is really going the distance.

6. A video of Apple employees in front of a white background will be played. Apple design honcho Jony Ive will be in it. These employees will be talking soothingly about the new iPhone(s).

This one’s actually an even better lock than Phil Schiller’s shirt.


7. Apple will quietly kill something off.

It could be the 30-pin connector we’ve all been using up through the iPhone 4S and third-generation iPad, it could be the iPod. It could be something else. It could even be the iPhone 4/4S line of phones. Apple has a vested interest in getting everyone using devices with the new Lightning connector and the elongated 4-inch screen, so killing off the iPhone 4/4S line would be a brutally quick way to do that, especially if a budget iPhone 5C is in the cards.

8. At one point in the event, a guest developer will come on-stage to talk about his or her app and how great it is to develop for iOS 7.

There will also probably be a musical guest at the end of the event. It’s never AC/DC, which I find absolutely unacceptable time after time. It’s usually someone on the opposite end of how hard AC/DC rocks.

Like if AC/DC rocks the hardest of all, the person or band that rocks the least hardest but that can still vaguely be associated with the same or similar genre as AC/DC shows up. The major exception was when Foo Fighters showed up. They played an acoustic set, which still rocked on a certain level. But, man, AC/DC cranked all the way up? That’d be one to remember.

9. Wild Guess: Apple will unveil a new iPod Nano in a different form factor for no particular reason.

Through the years, it’s been skinny, then fat, then skinny again, then square, then like a tiny iPod Touch. Why can’t it be shaped like a pyramid? Or a ball? Or gelatinous? Why not make a vaporous, inhalable version?

This might not be an event for iPods to be unveiled, but count on the iPod Nano to get reworked into an unrecognizable state at some point in the future.

10. At least a dozen superlatives will be used.

Buckle up, friends. You will witness things that are the fastest, the best, the most beautiful and the most incredible of their kind, eclipsing not only Apple’s competitors’ products, but even Apple’s own past products as well. Some superlatives will be repeated. All superlatives will give you goose-bumps.

Follow our liveblog here at 1PM Eastern, 10AM Pacific, along with news and analysis after the event ends.

MORE: Join Us for Live Coverage of Apple’s iPhone Event on Tuesday

TIME Tech’s Harry McCracken, Jared Newman and Matt Peckham contributed to this hard-hitting report.