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It’s September, which means (drumroll) it’s iPhone time.

For many years now, Apple has unveiled its newest iPhone models each September. This year, the event is taking place on Wednesday in San Francisco, prompting the usual frothing at the mouth from fans about what the device will look like and what updated features it might have.

Yet what will be shown will not really be a surprise. An ecosystem of Apple rumormongers, which stretches globally and pounces on any scrap of information, has been trotting out bits and pieces of what to expect for almost a year. Those hints and clues — sometimes flimsy, sometimes accurate — are then amplified by tech sites and social media. Often, the rumors are picked up by mainstream media. Then all of it is fed to a public that is hungry to know if they should buy an iPhone now or resist until a new one is released.

David Streitfeld dissected that chain of events for the iPhone that is set to be revealed on Wednesday, tracing how information about the device leaked to a Japanese website last year and then spread. The upshot is to expect an iPhone that is thinner and has improved cameras, and that has no headphone jack, among other updates.

Interest in iPhones may be helped this year by stumbles from a rival. Last week, Samsung, the world’s biggest maker of smartphones, said it had to recall its Galaxy Note 7 modelbecause of flaws in the battery cell that could result in fires, write Paul Mozur and Su-Hyun Lee. The timing could not have been better for Apple.


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