Although it's expected that Apple will launch other products on October 4, in particular, it's the iPhone that will be the focus for consumers, tech gurus, and analysts.
Our own source has told us that Apple had originally planned to release a minimally changed iPhone 4S in mid-summer. [The name was apparently developed to reference the similarity with the iPhone 3G to 3GS update] That plan was changed, later, when Apple decided that a summer release was too close to the Verizon iPhone release, and opted to push the device out.
At the same time, Apple was working on a quad-band iPhone 5, which could access Verizon and Sprint CDMA networks, as well as AT&T and T-Mobile GSM frequencies (which differ). The iPhone 5 was significantly different, with aluminum unibody construction, and was originally planned for a 2012 date, as there was no way, engineers said, they could complete the project by summer.
Pushing the device out gave Apple a chance to get both devices out at the same time. While it's unclear if that's what Apple is going to do, our source has seen both devices, and called the iPhone 5 "beautiful," although he only saw an early DVT version.
While a DVT version could mean it's too early to see an iPhone 5 in October (October 14 is the latest date that is expected to be the launch date in retail), he added that frequently testers have earlier versions of the device than developers. It's quite possible that the iPhone 5 is ready to go.
In fact, on Monday Deutsche Bank Securities analyst Chris Whitmore rehashed an earlier statement of his, stating there would indeed be an iPhone 4S and iPhone 5.
The iPhone 4S will be a tweaked version of the iPhone 4. Estimates are that it will sell for between $300 and $350, and be used to address the prepaid market. It's also possible carriers will sell it for free with a service commitment.
Other items Apple might possibly introduce at the event are iOS 5 (definitely), an introduction for new carrier Sprint, and new MacBook Airs. iOS 5 was introduced earlier, but we'd expect Apple to give any "new" details on the new service, as well as iCloud, and that the company will finally give a launch date for iOS 5, which we believe to be in the earlier of the two vacation blackouts we discussed earlier.
It will be an exciting next week for iDevice fans, starting next Tuesday.