Lets assume I buy one long call option on AAPL and as the expiry day gets closer the option is in the money. If I decide to exercise that option will there be a cash settlement or a delivery of the underlaying?
You don't exercise it. Unless, of course, your goal was to buy 100 shares of Apple.
When a long call is in the money, there will be value in excess of the in-the-money-ness, even a small amount of time value up until expiration. Unless the stock is very thinly traded, and the market maker for the options really doesn't want to grab a few dollars, most expiring options are sold, not exercised.
Keep in mind, the markets are closed over the weekend, but world events go on. If you let the option exercise upon expiration, you have a weekend that can set you up for a market drop on Monday, pulling the stock down, possibly below the exercise price.
To answer your specific question - the exercise of a stock option results in a long stock position (or short in case you bought a put.
It makes sense to exercise an ITM long call if:
1) You want to own the stock. If there is significant time premium remaining and it's greater than your commission costs for the transactions, you would sell the option and then buy the stock outright. Otherwise, just sell the call to close.
2) You cannot sell the call for its intrinsic value (the bid price is less than the stock's price less the strike price). For an example, read my reply here: