Preview: Apple’s “Let’s Talk iPhone” Event

Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) “Let’s Talk iPhone” event will take place in Cupertino, California this morning, where new CEO Tim Cook is expected to present the much-hyped iPhone 5. Apple has been vague about what the event will entail, and any new products consumers might expect to be presented today, but that hasn’t stopped the rumor mills from churning.

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That Apple will launch its iPhone 5 today is an almost certainty in the minds of most Apple enthusiasts, with product shipments and orders for new parts hinting at a new phone over the last few months. However, there is still no confirmation that Apple will release an iPhone 5 — in the past, Apple modified the iPhone 3 to get the iPhone 3GS. Apple could make a similar move this time around, modifying the current iPhone 4 to get an iPhone 4GS rather than an iPhone 5.

Also, there has been a lot of talk about a cheaper iPhone that can compete in the lower-end smartphone market. Again, no rumors have been confirmed by Apple, but it might be that it’s new product release today will simply be a pared-down version of the iPhone 4.

Most of the other rumors swirling around today’s event are about the features of the new iPhone 5. Some say it will have a teardrop shape like the MacBook Air, others that it will have a larger screen, a voice-command feature, 64GB of storage, an 8 megapixel camera, a touch-sensitive home button, and world-phone capabilities.

Some rumors have Sprint (NYSE:S) being named the exclusive carrier of the iPhone 5, while others say it will be announced that T-Mobile will begin offering an iPhone for the first time, though T-Mobile representatives have denied such a claim. Most expect that, if an iPhone 5 is released today, existing partners AT&T (NYSE:T) and Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) will offer it.

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Apple’s news today, whether good or bad, is likely to have an effect on its major competition in the smartphone market, including Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), Research in Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM), Nokia (NYSE:NOK), and Motorola (NYSE:MMI).

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