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What I'd like to see at Apple's iPhone event

September 10 is around the corner. Here's what I hope I get to see before that day ends.


We're almost ready for Apple's September 10 event, which we can basically call "The iPhone Event." But will it just be iPhones? And if it is, will these phones be able to do enough to excite would-be customers like last year's iPhone 5?

As I head out to Cupertino, Calif., this is what I'd like to see.

CNET's live coverage of Apple's September 10 event

Answering the "Which one do I get?" question with two iPhones, and doing it clearly
If Apple is really ready to offer two new iPhones this fall, how will people decide between an iPhone 5S and 5C -- if those are their names? Rumors say one will have bright candy colors and an iPod-like packaging, while the other will be an improved iPhone 5. Could one be high-end, the other budget? Is one targeted for kids? The iPad and iPad Mini worked together because one was larger and had a Retina Display, and the other was smaller and less expensive. I'd like to see a similarly clear delineation. Otherwise, how will my poor mom know what to buy?

A game controller to turn the iPhone into a real-deal gaming handheld
We know that iOS 7 will support a new game controller spec, and have glimpsed a Logitech controller case. I've wanted iOS to support physical button controls for years, and would love to see what dedicated controllers plus a new A7 processor would do for game development.

An iPhone...for kids! (sorta)
It might be time to kill off the iPod Touch. Those who have kids might start screaming at me, but what if that phone-less Touch were replaced with a cheaper iPhone that could have an optional, flexible data plan like the LTE iPad? That's my dream for the iPhone 5C, and it would be, at last, the type of iPhone I might half-consider letting a kid use.

iPhone 5C: The new Touch? Reported pics of the packaging.

A fingerprint reader, if it makes life easier
I've dreamed of using my phone as a wallet, from time to time. I've also dreamed of PassBook being a more useful type of digital commerce system. If Apple goes ahead and introduces a fingerprint reader in the iPhone 5S, there has to be a clear and useful need for it. It's not Apple's style to toss in a hardware feature randomly. Storing passwords under a single finger-swipe or enabling Square-like phone payments would be nice, if it worked magically.

Better battery life, pretty please
A battery that can make it through the day without a charge top-off: this is a simple dream I'd like to see fulfilled. The MacBook Air received accolades for its massive battery boost in 2013. An iPhone with better battery life would be even more important.

No iPods, unless one is an iWatch
I still appreciate the proposition of an iPod, but iPods don't need yearly updates. As I said above, an iPhone with flexible data plans could easily be an iPod Touch replacement, anyway. That being said, I could see an iWatch stepping in as an iPod Nano successor. I hope it aims at that territory, because a better-connected wearable Nano with health tracking still seems like the best way to sell an iWatch.

Something surprising
It feels like everything's already been preordained for Apple's event. What about surprises? This year feels like Apple could use one more than ever. I hope the day's not just about iOS 7 and the iPhone...unless there's something big we don't know. Surprise is starting to become a scarce commodity in our current age.

I'm not expecting iPads, Macs, or even an Apple TV...after all, another event in October is highly likely.