Three Apple predictions you haven’t heard yet today

September 10, 2013

David Paul Morris / Bloomberg

Good morning! Today is iPhone day at Apple, meaning that the Web is rife with stories rounding up rumors and making predictions. We're here to offer a few predictions of our own. But instead of salivating over the new iPhone's specs — which we'll do plenty of in our liveblog later today — here are some forecasts you probably haven't seen yet.

Apple will finally break into the Chinese market. The Cupertino-based company has long used China as a manufacturing and assembly hub, but increasingly its focus is on turning the country into a giant new marketplace for its devices. That began last year when Apple made it a point to boast about all the Chinese-specific features in Mac OS X and iOS 6. Last week, Apple signed a breakthrough deal with China Mobile that will make the iPhone available to 700 million potential new customers. And if rumors about a downmarket iPhone 5C are true, Apple will be unveiling a device that's meant to capture every one of them. On Wednesday, Apple will be holding a special event with a presentation in Beijing — its first ever.

Apple's stock will fall as soon as Tim Cook leaves the stage. This one's a pretty safe bet, as it almost always happens, at least when it comes to the annual World Wide Developers' Conference. Investopedia notes that this tradition stretches back almost a decade. For each of the past four years, Apple's share price has dipped by 0.7 to as much as 3.3 percent in the day after its WWDC keynote, according to data from BTIG.

Apple's new iPhone will have a fingerprint sensor. All right, you might have heard this one. But it's interesting because it could mean any number of things for security, privacy and the future of the app economy. Last July, the company bought up the fingerprint recognition company AuthenTec for over $350 million — one of its most expensive acquisitions ever. Judging by the cost and effort required to build a central fingerprint repository, it's more likely customers will store their fingerprints on their phones instead. That raises some interesting legal questions. For instance: If fingerprint authentication is a stand-in for passcodes, will law enforcement or other groups be able to compel you to thumb-unlock your device?

Brian Fung covers technology for The Washington Post.
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Brian Fung · September 10, 2013