As always, Apple is in the news, with several big announcements coming soon. In addition to a new iOS release and the upcoming debut of OS X Mavericks, there are iPhone rumors a-plenty, too. Let’s get up to speed on what’s happening in Cupertino, since whatever happens there on Infinite Loop usually makes its way around the world pretty quickly. Here we go…!
iWork for iCloud
Apple has been quietly sending out invitations for people to try its iWork for iCloud suite that will debut this fall. The three applications that make up the iWork package—Pages, Numbers, and Keynote—sell individually ($9.99 each for iOS, $19.99 each for OS X). Apple has various options for pricing, and has not announced its plans yet. If an iCloud version ends up being free, you could rent laptops and use the iWork apps free via a browser, rather than pay to have them on your computer or tablet.
“We’d like to invite you to be one of the first to try it, so we’re giving you early access to the iWork for iCloud beta,” the latest emails state. Anyone who wants to try the apps on iCloud, whether via an iMac or a PC, can use the current version of Internet Explorer, Safari, or Chrome. Apple has committed to broad accessibility, and is likely to add Firefox and Opera, browsers that will run on any computer rental in the world, Macs as well as PCs. Before the suite is released, Apple is tweaking printer settings, sharing iCloud-based documents with links, and refining the way the apps handle document version histories.
iPhone: Rumors Now, Facts Soon!
According to the digerati at the Wall Street Journal’s “AllThingsD” blog, Apple is set to debut its new iPhone on Sept. 10. The event may take place at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco where the company made last year’s iPhone 5 announcement. The “rumor consensus” on the name is the “iPhone 5S,” and it should include a fingerprint reader, faster CPU, and better cameras. It will come pre-installed with iOS 7, which Apple gave developers back in June. After the iPhone launch, iOS 7 will be released and our iPad rental inventory can then get updated, too.
If Apple parallels the 2012 schedule, pre-orders for the iPhone 5S could start on Sept. 12 and retail sales on Sept. 20. The firm might use the same Sept. 10 event to announce a low-priced iPhone (the 5C?). With Apple’s global smartphone share dipping 3 percentage points since 2012, from about 16% to 13%, the company needs an entry-level model to counter the aggressive competition from Android models. The MacBook Air itself was an attempt to offer a lower price point in the MacBook line, and a low-cost iPhone would target the same developing markets of China, Brazil, Indonesia, and India.
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