The general consensus regarding Apple’s upcoming iPhone 5 is that it will be revealed at a media event held on September 12th, with a release nine days later. Speculation regarding this event has also increased with the rumor that the iPad Mini will be unveiled at the same event. This September 12 media event is looking to be the biggest event of the year, if not for the past few years, but is it really beneficial for Apple to unveil both of these devices at the same time?
While this event would be regarded as massive by anyone’s standards, it would not be beneficial for Apple.
Also coming from the rumor mills have been stories of the new iPod Touch and Nano being unveiled at this event. In addition to those, a 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro could also be showcased.
Although Apple are very good at presenting keynotes at media events, this line-up would be bloated. For example, this year’s WWDC included one new Mac model, two updated ones, Mountain Lion and iOS 6, and it ran for close to two hours.
If this media event goes ahead as rumored, it will include the new iPhone, iPad Mini, iPod Touch, iPod Nano and possibly the smaller Retina MacBook Pro. Also take into account that Apple will go into detail about the way these devices run their respective operating systems, build up much hype, and include a few jokes, and we’ve got a keynote that will run for an excess of two hours.
John Gruber of Daring Fireball posted on the matter yesterday, theorizing that:
I don’t think Apple would want reviews of both a new iPhone and new-size iPad appearing at the same time. Why share the spotlight? Why have another Apple product battling with the iPhone for the top spots in news coverage? So I thought, well, maybe they’d only seed the review units of the iPhone on September 12, with the new-size iPad going into reviewer hands a few weeks later.
But the more I think about it, the less sense it makes for the iPhone to even share the stage at the announcement with any other product. The iPhone is too big, too cool, and garners too much attention — and it’s in Apple’s interest to keep that attention undiluted.
The iPhone is no doubt the most important product Apple sells, and while the iPad Mini may be receiving its share of hype, it doesn’t come close to the anticipation for the iPhone 5. Considering that last year Apple only released the iPhone 4S, even when an iPhone 5 was predicted, this year’s model has two years of build-up to live up to.
John Gruber’s solution works extremely well given the large amount of products Apple will have to announce.
I’m thinking it makes more sense for Apple to hold two events. First, an iPhone event, focused solely on the new iPhone and iOS 6. Then, the iPhone ships nine days later, and there’s another wave of iPhone-focused attention as the reviews come out. Then, in the first or second week of October, Apple holds its traditional “music event”, exactly along the lines of the events at which they’ve been debuting new iPods for the last decade. (Maybe more of an “iTunes event” than just “music event”, given the rise of other media like TV shows, movies, and books.)
An event where the iPad Air (cool, but just a smaller thinner cheaper iPad), new iPod Touch (cool, but just an iPhone without the phone), and maybe even new or at least updated iPod music players (eh) share the stage, tied together with the theme of consuming iTunes media content — that I can buy.
It seems like a sensible option to split these massive product unveilings apart. That way, the press will be able to review the devices separately, and there will be two massive days where Apple is at the subject of the most important news of the day. If this is how they proceed, the months of September and October will be dominated by Apple articles. In regards to marketing, the move would be extremely clever.
The iPod line would obviously play second fiddle to these other devices, but that is how they’ve been treated for the past few years, and they will still receive a decent amount of exposure.
The iPhone has been Apple’s headline model since its launch in 2007, and it will never come second best to anything else in the Apple product line.
This different approach does not make the iPhone and iPad Mini fight for attention, nor does it overload consumers and press with two product announcements at once. Although time will tell just how accurate this approach may be, it does seem more like Apple to separate the events. For now we can only hope, but within a couple of weeks, we will know for sure.
- Apple Rumors That Have Me Hoping (blogher.com)
- Jim Dalrymple Hints at Two Separate Apple Media Events for New iPhone and iPad Mini (macrumors.com)
- The iPad Mini Might Actually Be Announced in October [Rumors] (gizmodo.com)