Next-gen iPhone unveiling set for October 4; Tim Cook to handle presentation duties

Wed, Sep 21, 2011

News, Rumors

After months of speculation, we finally have a date for Apple’s long-awaited next-gen iPhone announcement. According to John Paczkowski of All Things D, CEO Tim Cook will grace the stage at an as of yet unannounced location to show off Apple’s next iteration of the iPhone.

Sources also tell Packowski that whatever Apple unveils (be it the iPhone 5, iPhone 4S or both) will be available for purchase a few weeks after the media event takes place.

Also of note is that this year’s iPhone event will mark the first time Steve Jobs isn’t handling iPhone unveiling duties, a symbolic changing of the guard so to speak.

Stepping up to the plate, naturally, will be Tim Cook and people will be watching intently to see how he handles the role of Apple showman.

That’s because it will be newly installed CEO Tim Cook’s first big product introduction, and the place where the public will get a first lengthy impression of him that may well set the tone for Cook’s new role.

And that’s why, said sources, although he’s never quarterbacked an Apple product announcement before, Cook is certain to preside over the iPhone 5 rollout.

He has to, of course. To pass the presentation on to anyone else — even one of Apple’s key executives, such as Phil Schiller, who has handled the Macworld and Worldwide Developers Conference keynotes in 2009 — would undercut Cook’s new role and reinforce public perception that its legendary outgoing CEO and co-founder Steve Jobs is Apple, and that it will be a different company without him.

Jobs famously has a flair for the dramatic so it will be interesting to see how Cook, who is naturally less dynamic and low-key than Jobs, handles the spotlight and hypes up a brand new Apple product. Cook, however, won’t be going it alone. In following the blueprint from previous Apple media events, a coalition of Apple executives will be helping Cook out so expect to see Phil Schiller, Scott Forstall and Eddy Cue to take the stage at some point as well.

To be honest, we thought, perhaps foolishly, that Jobs would still handle the iPhone 5 presentation. At the same time, it makes sense to start positioning Cook as the new face of Apple. But let’s be honest, if Tim Cook pulls a “one more thing” only to call up Steve Jobs to make a cameo appearance and say a few words about the iPhone 5, man, that would be crazy.

Update: Earlier today Al Gore said that Apple has “new iPhones” coming out in October, intimating that both an iPhone 4S and iPhone 5 model are on the horizon.

Keep in mind, though, a report from last week relaying that the iPhone 5 launch might be delayed on account of design and production delays. Also of interest is that Apple’s next-gen iPhone will be available under prepaid calling plans.


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