Sunday, September 13, 2015

Apple Media Event: Is This It?

Apple was expected to unveil new iPhone models, the iPad Pro as well as updates to existing models, maybe something about the Apple Watch with new skins and bands, and, of course, a new Apple TV model. Well, Apple did that as it unveiled in about two hours all of the above. In doing so, it likely omitted any reason why it would hold a second media event as it had done in the previous years.

Prior to last week's event, there was a bit of debate within the Apple fan community whether Apple would unveil everything in one event or follow tradition. That debate is now over. Or is it?

Is there any reason or possibility that Apple could schedule an October media event? And if so, what could Apple possibly want to talk about? With the vast majority of its products updated, including the iPods a month or so ago, it leaves only the Macs. Speculations that Apple could update the Macs with Intel's latest Skylake chips make a lot of sense but new Macs certainly will not command the type of attention that iOS devices do. Furthermore, the next OS X, El Capitan, was given a release date of September 30th already and it is unlikely that Apple has anything new to offer on that front. Oh, Apple might release new accessories like new Mac keyboards based on the new butterfly mechanism but, to be frank, no one will get excited about that.

So, that means the likely reason for Apple to hold another media event would be a completely new product or consumer service. It is a safe bet that Apple is done for the year with respect to introducing new hardware that is not an upgrade of an existing product. The idea of a new consumer service is more plausible.

During last week's event, the Apple TV got a bulk of the two-hour long event, highlighting the new app store and gaming capability. What was missing was the rumored TV bundle service as well as new news about the HomeKit. If the stars somehow align in the next couple of weeks and Apple is able to complete its often tough and stalled negotiations between itself and contend owners, Apple can conceivably command another event and demand the world pay attention once more as it unveil its revolutionary (or not) TV service along with new HomeKit updates. After all, many had expected the Apple TV to serve as a HomeKit hub as well.

So far, HomeKit information and products have not received the amount of attention it deserves. Apple may be ready to enter the market with its own products or a slate of partner products to show consumers, specifically its fans, its vision of the future home.

One other possible service is CarPlay and it is unlikely to get any time since Apple is rumored to be working on its own car. If Apple does make another major announcement about CarPlay, it will be ready to unveil its first carOS along with the associated Apple hardware to run it, the Apple Car. Right now, CarPlay feels just as much like a hobby as the Apple TV has been since it was introduced.

So, the safest bet now is to say that Apple is all done for the year. It has what it needs to record another record-breaking Holidays quarter and Tim Cook and company are resting up to get ready to haul the bags of money we'll be giving them to the bank.

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