Apple live event predictions
Apple's iPhone 6S launch event is hours away, but we have the play-by-play predictions, almost as if we've seen Tim Cook's Apple Keynote presentation file ahead of time.
How? The Cupertino company has a history of sticking to a rigid press conference format with incremental updates, sort of like its yearly phone and tablet refreshes.
- Follow our Apple iPhone launch liveblog
Mixed with credible rumors, we set the scene for September 9, taking you from Tim Cook's entrance on stage at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, to his awaited "one more thing" tease.
Here's how we predict Apple's iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus event will go down in San Francisco.
This is the first Apple iPhone event in ages where the company could refresh all of its product categories, not just its smartphone. That's why this could be Apple's biggest event ever.
The keynote starts at 10:00am (1:00pm ET, 18:00 BST), and that's precisely when Apple's keynote live stream will switch from blaring music to the opening hype video.
Sometimes they're celebrity-filled presentations, like the WWDC video featuring Bill Hader, and sometimes they're a time lapse of new flagship Apple Stores being built from beginning to end.
The opening video could also play into Apple's press conference invite teaser, demonstrating how people around the world use Siri. Prepare to hear "Hey, Siri" in many different languages.
Tim Cook's entrance
At 10:04am, Tim Cook will grace the stage to the usual roaring applause. He'll talk about how it's great to be back in the historic Bill Graham Civic Auditorium.
Steve Jobs unveiled the Apple II at the venue 38 years ago, back when the West Coast Computer Faire existed and the building was called the San Francisco Civic Auditorium.
"Today, we're using Apple devices that are more than 1,000 times faster than that landmark computer, and they fit... in the palm of your hand," he will say with dramatic effect.
Cook will briefly show off the success of the previous iPhone 6 and its customer satisfaction survey rankings, and then he'll tease "the most powerful advancement in the history of iPhone."
iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus reveal
Tim Cook will scurry off stage as the video presentation behind him goes full screen in our Apple live streaming browsers.
There's dramatic music playing to properly amp up the excitement and a new higher-resolution screen will project the time "9:41am" at the top of the phone.
No, Apple isn't waiting until 41 minutes into its presentation to reveal the new iPhone, like Jobs did back in 2007. There's way too much to pack in, Cook will say earlier.
Cook will come back out on stage and get right to it, revealing the names of the phones for the first time as the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus, "the best iPhones yet."
iPhone 6S won't bend
Nine minutes into the keynote, Cook will invite Phil Schiller to the stage. He's Apple's senior vice president of worldwide marketing, who dives more deeply into the iPhone 6S specs.
Schiller always leads with the design, and although the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus aren't expected to look any different, he'll talk about their enhanced screen and improved build quality.
Don't expect the word "BendGate" to be uttered once. However, the Apple executive will tout the less pliable 7000 series aluminum. "The new iPhone is stronger than ever," Schiller will boast.
He'll start going into the science of it, at which point everyone's eyes will glaze over if they're not a true geek. Words like "zinc compounding" and "anodization coating" will be used.
iPhone 6S screen with 3D Touch
More than pixels, however, Schiller will focus on what 9to5Mac rumors call 3D Touch. It'll allow for a new way to interact with the phone using different levels of touchscreen pressure.
Much like Force Touch on the Apple Watch display and new MacBook trackpad, pressing down harder on the fast-forward or rewind button in a video will speed up playback by 2x, 4x, 6x, etc.
The bigger draw is going to be with menu shortcuts. Being able to move faster through the iOS 9 interface with hidden menus is going to be akin to the innovation of a right click on computers.
iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus specs
Now at the 20-minute mark of the press conference, Schiller will show off what the new, more powerful iPhone can do with Apple's third-generation 64-bit processor.
Apple A9 is said to feature a smaller 14 nanometer fabrication process, meaning it should be able to fit its more than 2 billion transistors into a tighter space than the current 20nm chip.
It'll also let him announce the jump to 2GB of RAM in the new iPhones. The iPhone 4S, with 512MB of RAM, was the last phone to have anything but the current 1GB of RAM. Android phones are now up to 3GB and 4GB of RAM.
Schiller will invite a developer onto the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium stage to demonstrate what this means in a CPU-taxing game app, like another Infinity Blade app from Epc Games.
iOS 9 and Apple Pay
Fulfilling Apple's event invite tease, Schiller will explain how Siri is smarter than ever, rehashing many of the onstage demos we saw at June's WWDC.
Schiller will remind everyone that iOS 9 changes Passbook to Wallet, which includes Apple Pay. Soon, it'll add rewards cards as part of its digital wallet platform. Expect a vague launch date.
Apple may also launch Apple Pay in additional countries besides the US and UK, with Canada and China thought to be next on the list.
If this big announcement happens, then Schiller hand off this portion of the press conference to Apple Vice President of Apple Pay, Jennifer Bailey.
iPhone 6S camera specs
The reason? Apple is finally going to give its rear iSight camera a 12MP sensor, a boost from the 8MP sensors that have been in the iPhone 4S all the way on up.
Schiller will begin by showing an amazing photo taken with the current iPhone 6 Plus camera. It'll depict a magical-looking landscape, and you'll swear it's from a DSLR, not a phone camera.
He'll best this photo and add even more high-resolution video to the mix after running through the new camera specs. Make way for next-generation focus pixels and OIS on both phones.
Whether or not the iPhone 6S can pull this off with the usual f/2.2 lens - when LG and Samsung have built f/1.8 and f/1.9 lenses - remains to be seen in users' snapshots.
iPhone 6S price and release date
The two pieces of information everyone wants to know from today's keynote are "When can I get the iPhone 6S?" and "How much will it cost?"
Schiller, being the showman he is, saves this news until the very end. But given the Apple press conference timing and price history, we can now predict the launch date and how much it'll cost.
The iPhone 6S price will come first, and it won't change theoretically. Off-contract, it will cost $649 (£539, AU$999) and iPhone 6S Plus will cost $749 (£619, AU$1,149) for the space limited 16GB model.
Apple may - for the first time since the original iPhone - shock everyone with a price other "starting at $199" for the US. "It's easier than ever to own," Schiller will claim.
Really, the change is because Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint have done away two-year contracts in favor of monthly device payment plans. Do act surprised now that we've told you.
The iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus release date will Friday, September 18, according to our best estimates. It's typically the next Friday after Apple press events.
Pre-orders would begin the immediate Friday after the event, September 11. Apple has hinted that it will allow long lines to snake around it stores once again, but will encourage pre-orders.
The last important detail Schiller will give us is the iOS 9 release date. It'll be here Wednesday, September 16, we're thinking, citing the fact that it always arrives two days before new iPhones.
Two more things
Tim Cook resurrected Steve Jobs' "one more thing..." line to great applause last year when he introduced the Apple Watch. Why stop there? Why not add to it?
There's an outside chance he may speedily run through new Mac refreshes and reveal when the OS X El Capitan update will be ready, but those are more likely coming in late October.
It will take on the Amazon Fire TV with voice activated menu navigation and Siri at its heart. "Those apps you love are coming to the Apple TV with a full fledged App Store," Cook will reveal to no one's surprise.
Gaming will, of course, be at core of the new Apple TV, with a Wii-like motion-controlled remote and in the neighborhood of $149 (likely £139, AU$249). It'll attempt to steal Nintendo's casual gaming audience.
Don't expect the new Apple TV to boast the long-rumored Apple streaming service. It's still in the content deals phase thanks to Hollywood. Steve Jobs predicted this was why Apple TV would remain hard to innovate.
iPad Pro with a stylus
The more exciting Apple announcement today will be the larger iPad Pro. Like we always say about phablets in our phone reviews, it's not for everyone.
That's because the iPad Pro will be an enterprise-focused tablet with a 12.9-inch screen that focuses on split-screen multitasking, which is also new to the iPad Air 2 running iOS 9.
Business, kiosks and Fortune 500 companies will benefit most from the bigger screen size, and the specs that will include Apple's A9 (no A9X this time) processor and 2GB of RAM.
There are multiple reports that the iPad Pro will be compatible with a stylus, one that's either included with or sold separately from the tablet. This is an anti-Jobs shocker.
Jobs very publicity chided phones and tablets that included a stylus, saying, "Nobody wants a stylus" and, "If you need a stylus, you've already failed." At the time, he was talking about Windows tablets, not Samsung and other Android devices.
Apple can, of course, easily defend this flipflop, noting that the 12.9-inch display lends itself to a pen-like input method, and technology changes over the decade make a stylus more precise.
It may also reveal an iPad mini 4 after last year's disappointing iPad mini 3 tiny specs bump, but don't look for an iPad Air 4 at this particular event. It's reportedly not ready yet.
The accessory surprises might not stop there. Hints that the iPad Pro will be compatible with an Apple-designed Bluetooth keyboard have surfaced in recent weeks.
More Apple event coverage
Now over hour into the event, Tim Cook will cue a band that you find to either suits your classic, anti-MTV VMAs tastes, or you just can't stand because they're way past their prime.
Last year, it was U2, and the year before that it was Elvis Costello. Whoever performs at this year's iPhone event, don't look for Apple to force their album into your space-limited iCloud.
The company doesn't want PR setbacks to distract from its core message. That's why we're in for a stronger, more powerful iPhone 6S and 6S Plus with BendGate-free aluminum and a new Apple TV that graduates from its "hobby box" status.
- Here's the expected iPhone 6S price