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The iPhone 5 launch on Wednesday, Sept. 12, is sure to be the most important event for tech investors this year. The Motley Fool will be hosting a live chat where our top tech analysts will answer your questions and break down what the announcement means for Apple and tech investors everywhere. Be sure to swing by Fool.com at 12:45 p.m. ET next Wednesday for all your coverage of Apple's next big announcement.
The clock is ticking. We're now just days away from Apple's (Nasdaq: AAPL ) iPhone 5 unveiling, and even the Apple shorts are moving out the way, having let the world's most valuable tech name steamroll toward fresh all-time highs this past week.
We've heard plenty about what Apple is likely to announce on Wednesday. So instead of rehashing the rumors, let's dive into the things that investors, fans, and potential smartphone buyers are unlikely to hear.
1. "We call it the iTV!"
There was plenty of buzz earlier this year that Apple would roll out a full-fledged high-def TV. The design would be slick. The remote control would be a touchscreen iOS work of wonder. After all, if Steve Jobs finally "cracked" the code in the realm of smart televisions -- as he told his biographer shortly before he passed away last year -- Apple would have no choice but to honor his legacy by putting out Jobs' final toy.
Well, no one expects a TV to come out in time for this year's holiday shopping season. Apple reportedly hasn't been able to negotiate with cable networks to deliver the programming service it thinks it needs to raise the bar in video consumption.
For now, Apple is now forced to dream smaller and possibly work on improving its set-top Apple TV box before it can become a true TV star.
2. "The iPhone screen is now as big as the leading Android devices."
It's hard to go by allegedly leaked photos, but it seems as if the iPhone 5 is getting a bigger screen. The revolutionary phone's 3.5-inch screen just isn't cutting it. However, it seems as if Apple is settling for closer to a 4-inch screen.
Apple apparently isn't ready to take on Samsung's 4.8-inch Samsung Galaxy S III or the even larger 5.5-inch Galaxy Note II, but it appears to be half-inching closer and closer.
3. "You're going to love our new music-discovery service."
Despite Friday's news that Apple would roll out a Pandora (NYSE: P ) killer, even the sources are discussing what's currently happening simply as licensing negotiations. It doesn't seem as if a full-blown service is something Apple will have ready in time.
Sure, streaming music is a big part of the smartphone experience. Nokia (NYSE: NOK ) introduced Nokia Music this week, a streaming service that it will make available to Lumia smartphone owners at no additional cost.
How can Apple let Nokia beat it to the punch? Well, you know Apple. It won't put something out until it's ready. The reason you won't see an Apple HDTV this season is the same reason you won't see Apple's Pandora clone.
4. "We're not going to let Amazon beat us on tablet data plans."
One of the more interesting announcements out of Amazon.com (Nasdaq: AMZN ) on Thursday is that it will offer a 4G LTE data plan on its high-end Kindle Fire for a flat fee of $50 a year.
Don't get too excited. The plan comes with only 250 megs of monthly data from AT&T (NYSE: T ) . This will appeal primarily to folks who typically have reliable Wi-Fi but need a little bit of bandwidth every now and then. However, a similar plan for iPad owners on the same wireless carrier would set them back $180 over the course of the year.
Amazon must be doing some kind of subsidizing to get this special pricing. Either way, it's introducing a new wrinkle here by trying to compete on the price of connectivity. Apple may need to respond eventually, but it's too soon to go down that road just yet.
5. "Ladies and gentlemen ... say hello to the iPhone 4GS"
What's in a name? Plenty. Investors were mostly disappointed last fall when Apple unveiled the 4S. They were hoping for the iPhone 5 and all of the rumored features that came with it. They wanted a radical redesign, 4G LTE connectivity, and NFC chips.
Well, they'll probably get two out of three on Wednesday -- and they'll definitely get the iPhone 5 name. Having a shadowy "5" on the media invitations pretty much cements that certainty. Even if the upgrades ultimately prove to be minor, Apple knows the market's been clamoring for the iPhone 5 in name at least.
Apple will keep around the 4S as a cheaper alternative to the iPhone 5 the way it has in recent upgrades, but there will be an iPhone 5 queue at an Apple Store near you later this month.