Is the new iPhone wait nearly over? (Apple Talk Weekly)

All eyes are on Apple to announce the next iPhone, and a new report says that'll happen on October 4. More on that, and the rest of this week's Apple news, in this week's edition.

Josh Lowensohn Former Senior Writer
Josh Lowensohn joined CNET in 2006 and now covers Apple. Before that, Josh wrote about everything from new Web start-ups, to remote-controlled robots that watch your house. Prior to joining CNET, Josh covered breaking video game news, as well as reviewing game software. His current console favorite is the Xbox 360.
Josh Lowensohn
5 min read
New iPhone 4 buyers play with their phones on launch day last year.
New iPhone 4 buyers play with their phones on launch day last year. Josh Lowensohn/CNET

People are downright salivating for a new iPhone, and it looks like the wait is very nearly over.

A buzzy report from All Things Digital this week pointed to October 4 --which is now less than a week and a half away--as the day Apple plans to take the wraps off the next version of the device, with a release to follow a few weeks later.

There's one hiccup with that plan, however, which is that both the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, and the Moscone Center (which are Apple's usual places for product launches outside of its smaller campus space) are both booked that week as part of the OracleWorld conference, ZDNet notes.

As a frame of reference, Apple announced the current model at Moscone during last year's Worldwide Developers Conference in June, with photos and videos of the device having leaked out months ahead of the event.

On the topic of when consumers will actually get it, Ticonderoga Securities analyst Brian White (via Fortune) has put together a "days to launch" list for all the previous versions of the iPhone and iPad, which points out that the last two iterations of the iPhone were released 11 and 17 days after being announced, respectively.

Read on to get the rest of this week's Apple news, rumors, and answers to your questions.


Apple stock hits all time high
Apple started out the week on a high, literally. The company's stock hit an all-time high on Monday, peaking at $413.23 a share, finishing the day with a market value of $381.62 billion. The stock retreated by the end of the week, closing at $404.30.

Final Cut Pro X gets first big update, free trial
Apple this week rolled out the first big feature update to its Final Cut Pro X software, adding a handful of features it says users were asking for. It also added a free 30-day trial that users can grab through Apple's Web site.

China gets the iPad 3G
Apple this week began selling a version of its iPad 2 with built-in 3G networking in mainland China, some four months after the Wi-Fi only version made its debut there. Up until now, customers in the region have been able to buy only the Wi-Fi version of the device through Apple, leading some to pick up gray-market 3G models imported from other countries.

Apple tops two different customer satisfaction surveys
Apple ranked the highest in the results from two separate customer satisfaction surveys released this week. The first was The American Customer Satisfaction Index, which had Apple's Mac computerstopping the charts. The next day, Beyond Philosophy released the results of its customer satisfaction survey, which listed Apple as having the "most admired customer experience."

Via, Samsung, S3 sue Apple
Apple was sued by a handful of companies this week. On Thursday, Via Technologies took aim at the tech giant for allegedly infringing on its patents. The same day, S3 filed a complaint against Apple for allegedly infringing on two of its patents, adding to the existing suits between the two companies with the International Trade Commission. Then there were the four suits aimed at Apple by Samsung in the Netherlands, reported yesterday by Bloomberg.

Another Thunderbolt-related firmware update
Apple on Monday released a firmware update to its Thunderbolt-equipped computers that "improves the stability of the Apple Thunderbolt Display." Apple started shipping out that hardware to customers last week.


T-Mobile exec squashes iPhone 5 rumor
A purportedly leaked shot of T-Mobile's internal blog that was posted this week had the company's chief marketing officer saying that the iPhone 5 was not headed to the carrier--at least not this year. The statement, which T-Mobile officers declined to confirm, does not rule out the possibility of the carrier getting some other iPhone variant, which brings us to the next rumor of the week...


No iPad 3 this year, but two iPhones?
A note from J.P. Morgan analyst Mark Moskowitz this week made waves for two suggestions. The first was that we won't see a new iPad from Apple within the year, with Moskowitz saying the company is in "no rush" to release a follow-up while competitors are still working to get their act together. The second suggestion is that Apple plans to release two iPhones: an iPhone 5 and an iPhone 4S that will feature souped-up internals.

Al Gore mentions "new iPhones" at confab
While talking at the Discovery Invest Leadership Summit in South Africa this week, former U.S. Vice President and current Apple board member Al Gore mentioned that new iPhones would be arriving next month. While Gore could have just been talking about the device shipping out to people in multiple units, the mention was of note given the aforementioned rumor of there being two devices.

White iPod Touch rumor resurfaces
Along with the new iPhone next month, we could be getting a new color of the iPod Touch, Macrumors claimed this week. The outlet said this year's refresh is expected to be "minor" in nature. If you'll remember correctly it took Apple longer than expected to release the white iPhone 4, though it has offered white versions of the iPad 2 from the get-go, making this rumor not too much of a stretch.

Reader question

John J. asks:

I have had my iPhone for almost three years and am likely switching to an Android on Verizon's LTE network. The only thing that is really giving me hesitation is the music function. I complain about iTunes crashing on my PC, but overall it's a fantastic music manager (unlike Windows Media Player), and I love listening to music on my iPhone.

Is Android comparable to the iPhone? Does it depend on the carrier or manufacturer? Are there third-party apps that improve it and/or link to iTunes?

I've looked around but haven't found anything discussing this in the last year, and this never seems to crop up in phone reviews. Can you shed any light on the subject?

An iPhone next to an Android phone.
An iPhone next to an Android phone. CNET

Hey, John,

To answer your first question, the stock music experience on Android is different from what you have on the iPhone, but Android arguably offers more flexibility in letting you shape the sync and music app experience you can ultimately end up with.

On the phone side, you can install jukebox apps like Winamp, Poweramp, and Playerpro to act as your primary music player. My colleague Joshua Goldman rounded up 10 of the best, which you can take a peek at here.

If you're looking for an iTunes-like experience that can transfer over your library--complete with things like playlists and settings--there's DoubleTwist. This doubles as a jukebox both on your phone and computer when it comes to actually listening to music. If you want to stick with iTunes, there's also iSyncr, which can ferry files between your phone and iTunes.

For everything else, my colleague Sharon Vaknin has a how-to guide on switching platforms here, including how to transfer things like photos, videos, SMS messages, and contacts over to your new device.

Apple Talk Weekly is a roundup of some of the week's top Apple-related news and rumors, along with answers to your questions. If you have something Apple-related you want answered in next week's edition, drop me a line using the e-mail link below this post.