Various cats have been set amongst the pigeons in Berlin this week. Consumer electronics trade show IFA has been the launch pad for some exciting smartphone unveilings, including flagship and top-end mobiles from Samsung, Sony and Microsoft.
Never has the competition between mobile makers been quite so intense. But there's one brand for whom IFA is merely a preamble to its own event.
You've guessed it. I'm talking about Apple and the launch of its next generation iPhone on September 9.
The rumour mill has been rumbling away for months now. Scratch, drop and even stab-resistant 'sapphire glass' - watch the video below to see just how robust it is - is expected to be the material of choice for the handset's screen.
And fanbois won't know which way to turn if there are two sizes to choose from - a 4.7inch mobile and a super-sized 5.5inch phablet.
A new and improved 10Mp camera is also expected - boasting better image enhancement, and improving on the 8Mp camera of the iPhone 5S.
This new tech can't come soon enough for the tech giant. For once, Apple seems to be on the back foot instead of one step ahead of both consumers (it seems to have an uncanny knack of telling us what we want before we know we want it) and its rivals.
Oddly, Apple has not yet entered the wearable tech space with a hardware offering, or the phablet space - though it's believed next week's launch may put that right.
There's already stiff competition on the phablet side - a space that Samsung has long dominated. At IFA it unveiled the Galaxy Note 4 - and showed off all kinds of trickery achievable with the accompanying stylus pen.
Samsung then went for the slam-dunk by partnering with Montblanc to offer designer styluses, and with Swarovski to deliver bling crystal covers. That kind of gimmickry will do Samsung all sorts of favours with mobile fans.
So, other than a phablet (seriously, who came up with that nomenclature? It's phlipping terrible), does Apple have any other phantatstic innovations up its sleeve with which to phascinate their phans (enough now, it's starting to sound as though Daffy Duck wrote this article...)?
Well, Apple may also unveil a smartwatch, called the iTime or iWatch (if it ain't broke...).
Again, this would make Apple one of the - albeit fashionably - late guests to the wearable technology party behind Samsung and LG. If rumours are to be believed, Apple could showcase two watches with screen sizes of 1.5" and 1.3", geared towards males and females respectively.
As well as the usual features expected of any smartwatch, such as text and email alerts straight to your wrist, the iWatch could have access to iTunes, iCloud and the App store, with particular emphasis on the inclusion of Apple Maps and a new health and fitness, app called Healthbook.
In a possible collaboration with Nike, the app will collect and collate data e.g. calories burned, distance walked, blood pressure, hydration levels, and heart rate, making the iWatch a muscular addition to the burgeoning smartwatch and health fitness markets.
Roll on September 9 - and let's hope Apple's new hardware lives up to the hype.Suggest a correction