“On September 10, Tim Cook is expected to reveal what Apple has been working on since the iPhone 5 was introduced on September 12 a year ago,” Dan Farber writes for CNET. “A flood of rumors, with images mostly sourced from overseas manufacturing sites, and prognostications from analysts point to a successor to the iPhone 5 and a lower-cost model, the 5C, to appeal to more cost-conscious buyers and geographies.”

“The upcoming iPhones, which based on rumors don’t appear to be much different in size and shape from the current lead model, are the shiny objects attracting attention, but the real star will be the new iOS 7,” Farber writes. “The major update for iOS 7 is mostly design, such as changing the primary font to Helvetica Neue Ultra Light and buttons to rectangular regions without a clear border. Of course, there are numerous usability, camera and other kinds of improvements, but nothing that blows away the competition.”

MacDailyNews Take: That is a lie. Outright. We’ve been testing and using iOS 7 since beta 1 extensively. It is not mostly a “design” update. iOS 7 most certainly does blow away the competition. Either Farber has never used iOS 7 or he has no idea what he’s using/looking at.

Farber writes, “In effect, iPhone users are loyal to the brand (especially those with multiple Apple products), and somewhat captive, so the challenge for Apple is attracting new customers to maintain its growth curve and profit margins. The big uncertainty that will be resolved following the alleged September 10 product reveal is whether the combination of hardware and software — crafted into what Apple touts as objects of engineering and aesthetic precision, beauty and exceptional utility — can excite customers who have many alternatives, and also quiet critics who believe that Apple’s high-growth days are behind it.”

Read more in the full article here.