Surprises on July 11th

With the launch of the iPhone 3G, the App store, and hopefully MobileMe, coming this Friday, many people are getting excited. We would be remiss if we didn’t at least speculate about the surprises that might come when you open that 3G iPhone box.

One of the biggest surprises could come to developers who are not invited to have their apps debut on the app store. Forbes claims that only 16% of the 25,000 submissions have been accepted, and even those who have are still nervous about making Apple mad and getting the boot. They are not really allowed to advertise their applications yet, and must wait until the app store is launched before they can say anything. It would be devastating to have your submission denied with no reason given. Apple made it clear from the beginning that “inappropriate” apps would not be sold in the iPhone’s App Store. Four thousand programs is still a lot to have for the launch of a new product. It is phenomenal that Apple has had such a huge response from developers.

A good surprise would be to find that the iPhone 3G does in fact have haptic technology as has been rumored. Other touchscreen phones already have this technological gem, like the LG Vu. Over at Google code, the University of Glasgow Computing Science Department is working on a haptic interface for the iPhone. Apple has destroyed the homebrew crew before by integrating many features into its products that were the babies of indie developers.

Some sites have rumored a $100 price drop on the iPod Touch. I doubt this will happen, since the iPhone’s huge price drop can be attributed to the normal subsidizing of cell phones. iPod Touch will likely stay at the same price point for a while.

What is more appealing and even likely is that Apple might decide to squeeze the GPS chip into the iPod Touch, and deliver a turn-by-turn navigation system to accompany it. That would put them decidedly down a new market, which would be nice for us consumers. The Touch has a nicer screen and better functionality than any GPS unit I have ever seen, even the super expensive brands. I understand the need for location-based or location-aware apps on the iPhone, especially with regard to search, but turn-by-turn navigation is the most useful application for GPS hardware.

The surprise I most want to see is the GPS iPod Touch, and the one I most don’t want to see is a stingy Apple keeping a lot of devs out of the app store.

What are you hoping for?