Apple has finally released a date for their upcoming iPhone launch. Its going to be taking place at 10am on 10/4 in Apple’s own Town Hall auditorium. Typically Apples large events take place down in the moscone in San Francisco. So what does them changing venues actually mean?
Let’s get the most simple (and boring) explanation out-of-the-way first. Between Oracle, a developer conference, and a couple of science things, the Moscone Center is booked well into late October. That’s well past typical June release for iPhone news. So in order for Apple to have a “big” event they’d have to wait quite a while, and I’m sure they are chomping at the bit to get iOS out there to the population, not to mention any possible new iPhone.
Now that the boring stuff is out-of-the-way, let’s rev up our brains to figure out some stuff.
First, and probably most obvious, is that this is Tim Cook’s first keynote. He’s done some before this but never as the #1 guy. By moving the venue to a smaller space, they can control better the amount and type of people who will come to the event. Probably selecting journalist who are more apple friendly and will react better to Tim if he goofs up a bit. Also by having it in a smaller venue they can control live blogging and non-allowed streaming better. Which, by using the right shots, and audio, should help smooth out whatever performance Tim presents.
Second, at WWDC said that they would be releasing iOS at this fall and this event would be the obvious venue for that. By concentrating on the operating system it will allow Tim to not have to worry about a “killer release” product and work on his presentation skills for when they do make a “BIG” announcement. Perhaps the iPad 3 in late winter/early spring. People aren’t sure of his presenting style yet, and a smaller venue will get people more used to him and him being in charge not being Steve #2. I’d doubt that I’d even see Steve up on the stage at this event, although they might point him out in the audience.
And what about the “Let’s talk iPhone” part? Well, rumors of the big bad iPhone 5 seems to have been overhyped, especially since the release has been “delayed”, but I’d argue (and have…) they never intended to release the “new form factor” iPhone this fall. Heck, I don’t think they even intended to release an upgraded version of the current design till fall since the killer features and star this year is the OS. They already announced this was the “year of the iPad” and releasing an incredible iPhone 5 would just be unfair to its big brother.
Now that’s not to say nothing new and exiting will be announced at Tuesday’s event. They will most definitely talk, about the OS, both things that have been announced and tweaks here and there that have only been rumor. Maybe a traffic app, possibly Facebook integration to go along side the Twitter functions. They’ll announce possibly some new upgrades to the iPod line, Classic, nano, and shuffle.
They’ll introduce a white iPod touch to match the black and white of the iPhone and bump its specs to match what the iPhone has now (better camera, maybe even a SIM card in it). They may even get rid of the Touches all together and just sell a version of the iPhone without a SIM card included. Touches are priced pretty much at the same point as an unsubsidized entry and low level iPhones. By doing this they can get people to buy iPod Touches, who can later choose to get a sim and sign up for a service.
They will announce a new iPhone with better specs (again.. still holding to my guns from June on this…). I doubt that this will be the “one more thing” though since everyone pretty much knows a new iPhone is coming out, and doesn’t want to point out it’s not a iPhone 5. It would be the equivalent of going to a concert and then after all the opening acts finish pretend it’s over and then announce the main headliner is here… SURPRISE!!! Yea, I think not.
What will the one more thing be? Will there even be one? Can’t you just see Tim Cook say those words with a grin, followed by “I always wanted to say that” comment?Although I’d love the “one more thing” to be an AppleTV fancy upgrade with iOS5, I’m not holding my breath on this. Even further out on the “yea… be awesome, but probably won’t happen” for the one more thing… a 5″ (maybe 7″) iPod Touch. But chances are better that since this invitation says it’s all about the iPhone… I would be shocked if it wasn’t iOS related. Perhaps the new Personal Assistant that has been rumors going about. Would be a nice way to end, and give consumers a reason to get the new slightly better version of the iPhone (since it’s likely that it would need the additional RAM to handle the voice conversion).
We’ll see what happens on Tuesday.