What does it mean for you? Plenty, from when you’ll need to cancel plans to wait in line for one, to how Apple’s new hardware and software features will change the way you use your phone.
The biggest difference this year from last: We actually know a lot about what’s coming.
Gadget blog Gizmodo — controversially, and possibly illegally — obtained an iPhone prototype last month that is likely very close to the final version Apple will sell. It features a better screen, new case design made out of high-tech glass or ceramic, and a bigger battery.
We also have a good idea about some of the software features the new iPhone will support, thanks to Apple’s preview event in April. The big feature everyone is talking about is Apple’s new take on multitasking, which will let you do things like listening to Pandora music while reading your email, something you couldn’t do before.
Get ready to spend June 7 with your face stuck in a computer screen, furiously refreshing a live blog of Steve Jobs' keynote at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco.
That's when we'll find out the important features of the new iPhone, probably including some small surprises.
And we'll also learn the second date you need to know. What's that?
That's the day when you'll need to get in line if you want to be one of the first people to own the new iPhone.
One rumour had it that Apple will start selling the phone while WWDC is still going on. If Apple keeps with tradition, releasing the new iPhone on a Friday, that could be June 11.
If it's not June 11, any Friday in June or early July seems fair game. (Though Apple's strong financial guidance for its June quarter suggests a June launch.)
Not too different, but not identical.
You might need to buy a new case for your phone, if you want it to fit as well on the new iPhone as the old ones.
But every other accessory should continue to work just fine.
The new iPhone has a second camera on the front, according to reports.
This is great news for people like iJustine, especially if the new second camera also records video (or could stream it live to a site like Ustream).
It's also great news for sites like DailyBooth, which have thrived as more computers like Apple's MacBooks include built-in cameras. If people can start uploading quick pictures of themselves from anywhere, and if DailyBooth made a cool iPhone for that purpose, it could take off even faster.
Hello from the future! No more boring voice calls to mum and dad.
Now you'll presumably be able to make video calls from anywhere.
We assume that the front-facing video camera -- and video calling features -- mean that Apple is finally getting ready to release iChat for the iPhone.
If it's something that becomes super-popular and everyone has it, you might be able to use it in place of text messages, the way many BlackBerry owners use BlackBerry Messenger. In theory, this means you might be able to cut back on your text message subscription and spend less money on texts.
And the new iPhone OS will also let you receive VoIP calls more easily in apps like Skype, and keep VoIP calls working in the background while you're in other apps. If you're crafty, this might help you spend less money on voice minutes from AT&T or whoever your carrier is.
This might also finally open the door for a Google Voice app for the iPhone.
Yes, all that new video could put even more strain on AT&T's 3G network. And many loyal Verizon subscribers have been waiting for years for the iPhone.
But it appears that an iPhone for the no. 1 U.S. carrier is still several months away.
Previously, Daring Fireball blogger John Gruber had suggested it might be ready to go for Apple's annual iPod event in September. But a report suggested this week that AT&T might have gotten its exclusive extended until 2011 because of the super-cheap data plans it provided Apple for the iPad.
Apple's new iPhone software will let streaming music apps like Pandora (and radio streams from MLB games) play in the background.
This means you'll be able to listen to Pandora while you're reading emails or surfing the Web, which you couldn't do before.
This will be huge for commuters who want to listen to fresh music or tune into a game on the way home while catching up on emails or reading an ebook.
The new background 'multi-tasking' features included in Apple's new iPhone software do NOT, as far as we can tell, include anything that would let the New York Times app (or similar news apps) constantly download new content in the background.
This means you'll probably have to keep remembering to boot up the app before you get on the subway.
We anticipate that Apple will keep the new iPhone at $199 (possibly 32 GB) with another edition with more storage for $299 (possibly 64 GB).
We think Apple will move the existing iPhone 3GS (16 GB) down to $99. There's also a possibility Apple and AT&T will subsidise the phone down to $49 or even $0.
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