Apple iPhone events: not always dramatic, but sometimes a big deal for digital publishers
Few of the recent events have been as important as that January 2007 event, but some introduce important new features and capabilities that publishers soon adopt
Tomorrow’s iPhone event promises much more than just new versions of Apple’s smartphone, it will probably also include a preview of the iWatch, as well as a release date for iOS 8. The event gets plenty of attention from tech writers, so much so that Apple no longer needs to hype the event themselves – the tech sites are, in essence, part of Apple’s marketing team.
But the iPhone event wasn’t always like this, and it didn’t always take place in September. Slowly, the iPhone event has moved across the calendar to its present spot.
The original iPhone event took place in January of 2007 and was the keynote address at Macworld. Apple still had ties to the event, but felt that tying product introductions to this early January trade show made no sense. Not only did they stop doing keynotes at Macworld, but they pulled out of the show completely with 2009 being the last show Apple attended.
(You might not remember, but that first iPhone event was also where Apple launched its first Apple TV – a larger, less useful device, that was priced at $299.)
In 2010, Steve Jobs used the Worldwide Developers Conference to introduce the iPhone 4. In September, Apple held another event to show off new iPods, then introduce a new Apple TV as its “one more thing.”
The iPhone event in 2011 was on October 4 and unveiled the iPhone 4S, as well as Siri. The event was something of a disappointment for many tech writers, but the iPhone 4S was a much faster and better phone and taught many buyers that these incremental editions are the superior products. But only two days later came the sad news that Steve Jobs had died.
In 2012 the event moved to something close to its present slot: September 12. That year saw the introduction of the iPhone 5 with its slightly longer display, something that must have not impressed me because this was the only year TNM did not bother to write a post about the event.
But the next would see the release of iOS 6 and TNM wrote one of the first posts on Apple’s new Maps app, the first to not use Google. To be honest, I was stunned that TNM didn’t get more credit for discovering the problems with the app, but then again readership was much lower back then.
I was able to discover and report on the problem because I have a developer license and so downloaded the gold master of iOS 6 before its public launch. Still today most tech reporters who write about these things do not themselves do any development or have developer accounts, sort of like being a car critic and not knowing how to drive.
Last year’s event introduced the iPhone 5s, as well as the plastic iPhone 5c. Apple’s stock took a dive after the event, reflecting the disappointment that event did not deliver more. But the part of the reason for this was that Apple, it was assumed, would be holding a separate iPad event about 6 weeks later where they would also review OS X Mavericks. The same game plan is probably true again this year, but this time investors, in particular, are expecting much and it looks like Apple might deliver the goods.
For publishers, though, tomorrow’s event may be a nonevent. There is little chance that there will be any news on iBooks Author, new iPads, or a much needed announcement concerning a redesigned App Store or Newsstand.
There will be, however, a launch date announced for iOS 8, and this really does impact digital publishers. Developers have been playing around with iOS 8 for a while now, and even some app updates have made reference to iOS 8. Tomorrow should mark the day developers can download the gold master, and I plan to do that if there are some goodies to be had, but consumers will probably have to wait at least a week for it to appear as a notice on their devices.