iPhone Secrets Are Too Big to Keep

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Wednesday Apple (AAPL) will introduce a new iPhone -- called the "new iPhone" rather than iPhone 5. It will be taller and thinner with new connectors. Apple will also roll out a new line of iPods, some square, in a range of colors, and with more capacity.

Already, the stock market is reacting. Shares of Pandora ( P) are down, according to CNNMoney, on reports of a new streaming radio service. We know Samsung will lose some memory chip orders, as CNET points out.

Why we know all this is the real story.

When the iPhone and iPad were first announced, it was easy to surprise us. The devices were different from what we had known before. They redefined the technology space. Their components were a surprise, as those makers were unknown to us.

A lot has changed. There's now a large media industry devoted to following the lines from Apple to its Chinese suppliers and back to Cupertino. The vocabulary of these devices is now well known to us, and while courts may separate the look-and-feel of Android from iOS, that common vocabulary will remain.

We're harder to shock, we know more, and we understand the vocabulary. Yet there remains a childlike, "Santa is coming" aspect to Wednesday's iPhone event that is endearing. Except, as it is with Santa, we know what's in the bag (on a macro level) before he comes down the chimney:
  • The site iMore.com is already out with pictures, showing an HD-like screen, small connectors, LTE networking and no Near-Field Communications support.
  • The complete refresh of the iPod line is also well-anticipated. iMore.com says, look for up to 8 colors, a wide variety of price points and full support for iOS on the iPod Touch.
  • The LTE support will make the iPhone truly international, notes Forbes, just as rivals are.
  • The new iPhone will have a more sensitive screen, but better glass, a better camera (with improved audio capture) and a metal back, and it may even support a new system for multi-player gaming, according to IBTimes.
  • We know that two or three entirely new iPods are coming, as 9to5mac.com reports, along the lines of the existing iPod Shuffle, Nano and Touch lines.

    We know all this is because the iPhone industry requires a huge logistics investment from suppliers, which does not go unnoticed by the growing iPhone media. The Vancouver Sun has already reported on where the new larger "retina" screens are coming from. We know that Samsung is upgrading a chip plant in Austin, Texas to supply iPhone chips. We know who the key application developers are, as Sourcingline reports.

    So we also know some people are going to be disappointed in Wednesday's announcements, as Lifegoesstrong.com points out. Increasingly Apple's differentiation comes from software, from its proprietary iOS operating system and everything that flows from that. Hardware matters less.

    Apple now defines markets with annual sales measured in the billions of units, with margins that approach 70%, on products with a global economic footprint. That's the real news tomorrow, and it's already out.

    At the time of publication, Blankenhorn was long AAPL.

    This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.

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