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Apple’s Future On The Line, Post Steve Jobs, iPhone Era Set To Be Exposed

Apple will this week kick off a battle that could well determine the future of the Company post Steve Jobs.

With little if any real innovation since the death of Steve Jobs Apple will this week launch their new iPhone in a desperate effort to recapture the magic that Steve Jobs built the Company from.

In 2007, Jobs billed his smartphone approach as blending liberal arts, design and technology. Today Apple is seen as needing a fresh spark, whether from the phone itself or from services or other devices like the Apple Watch.

Ironically the battle will kick off in the Steve Jobs Theater at Apple’s new “spaceship” campus in Silicon Valley, evoking the memory of the company’s late co-founder and iconic pitchman.

What the pundits are claiming is that Apple is set to introduce a special “iPhone X” on Wednesday morning Australian time, Tuesday in the USA, to mark 10 years of the handset.

Some reports say Apple will introduce three new iPhone models, with unconfirmed talk that a special premium iPhone will be priced as high as $1,400.

“It will have to be magical,” analyst Rob Enderle of Enderle Group said of a new iPhone with that kind of price tag.

“Even if you can’t afford it, this has to be the one you lust after.”

The new iPhone would also need to “set the bar” in a market with premium Android-powered handsets priced much lower, according to the analyst.

iOS developer Steven Troughton-Smith discovered references to iPhone X that are linked directly to the D22 codename with a bezel-less display.

It’s the strongest indicator we have so far, that Apple is planning the special naming to mark 10 years of the iPhone.

Troughton-Smith has also discovered separate iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus references in the final iOS 11 firmware, suggesting that Apple isn’t planning to use its tradition S branding, and will instead jump to iPhone 8 for its non-OLED devices.

A number of different iPhone names have been floating around for Apple’s OLED device, including iPhone Edition, iPhone Pro, and iPhone 8.

Irrelevant of what Apple is planning to do their biggest problem is Samsung and surging demand for Android devices that are made by the same Company that is making several of the components for the new Apple devices.

Jobs introduced the first iPhone on January 9, 2007 and set the stage for mobile computing — and an entire industry revolving around it. The first devices became an instant hit as they went on sale on June 29 of that year. At the time Samsung was struggling to get into the smartphone market today they are Apple’s toughest enemy while also being a key partner.

Apple as usual has revealed little about the September 12 event in Cupertino. Invitations provided the date, time, location and a message that read: “Let’s meet at our place.”

The timing, however, is in sync with Apple’s annual unveiling of new iPhone models and comes as rival’s field fresh champions powered by Google-backed Android software.

Eyes are on Apple to dazzle as the culture-changing firm seeks to retain its image as an innovation leader in a global smartphone market showing signs of slowing and as Chinese rivals close ground.

Chinese smartphone maker Huawei who is struggling in Australia due in part to a reluctance by carriers to range their devices, passed Apple in global smartphone sales for the first time in June and July, taking second place behind South Korean giant Samsung, according to market tracker Counterpoint Research.

Samsung last month unveiled a new model of its Galaxy Note as it seeks to move past the debacle over exploding batteries in the previous generation of the device, and mount a renewed challenge to Apple’s flagship devices.

Loup Ventures partner Gene Munster said in a research note that the new premier iPhone “will be the biggest step forward in iPhone technology that we’ve seen since the original device launched 10 years ago.”

Some reports say the new iPhone will include a high-quality, edge-to-edge screen with a notch in the top for an extra camera supporting 3D facial recognition.

Others speculate that the back of the new handset will be glass and will offer wireless charging.

The most dramatic changes were expected in the premium model, which could go so far as to get rid of a home button that has been a main control feature since the iPhone debut.

Flicking or swiping gestures could replace the home button function, enabling the handset face to appear almost all-screen.

RBC Capital Markets said that a recent survey of iPhone 8 users in the US indicated “sizable pent-up demand and excitement around the upcoming iPhone launch” with wireless charging generating the most interest.

– Augmenting reality

Apple’s new iOS 11 operating system unveiled earlier this year boasts new camera features, the Siri digital assistant made smarter, and the potential for augmented reality applications.

Apple made an AR kit available to developers to create apps with the technology.

Adding 3D and computer vision hardware to an iPhone would “be a big step toward putting AR in the hands of everyday users,” Munster said.

Apple has taken to spotlighting the growing stream of revenue from selling content and services to the hundreds of millions of people using its devices.

“We believe Apple’s true differentiation is its unique computing ecosystem: iOS,” RBC Capital Markets said, referring to the mobile software powering the company’s creations.

“Simplistically, the scale of users attracts application developers, which in turn bolsters the number of users.”

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