September 9, 2014 Last Updated 2:07 pm

Apple introduces new iPhone models, sets date for the release of iOS 8, previews Apple Watch

Apple sets September 17 as the release date for iOS 8; next up should be an iPad event in October which would also feature the release of the next generation of the Mac OS

Thank God they didn’t call it iWatch. Today Apple previewed the Apple Watch, as well as two new models of the iPhone.

For digital publishers, the most important news was probably the one item they spent the least amount of time on, the September 17 release date for iOS 8.

AppleWatch-lgThe iPhone 6 comes with a 4.7″ display while the iPhone 6 Plus comes with a 5.5″ display – both larger than the iPhone 5’s 4″ display.

But Apple really dedicated the majority of its event unveiling the Apple Watch, Apple’s much anticipated smart watch. As many hoped, the Apple device is more attractive, and more powerful than any smart watch so far introduced.

But is still a watch, a piece of hardware that many consumers have stopped wearing as they have bought smartphones. As the Apple Watch requires ownership of an iPhone 5 or 6, the market for the device is limited. On top of this, the price is $349 and up and won’t be available until next year.

As usual, the tech sites will have the full details on the new iPhone models and the Apple watch.

If you are an investor in Apple and starting to think about the event today, your take away has to be that Apple is risking its holiday quarter by previewing a product that requires buyers to wait until 2015 to purchase. But Apple stock is actually up so far, something of a change from past events that have ended with the stock falling. Having said that, those sell offs were usually short lived as investors realized that Apple had just unveiled a pretty good line-up of new products. It will be interesting to see what they think about today’s event when given a few minutes to really think about it.

Three other points: today’s event was supposed to be streamed live online – and it was, after an hour of mishaps that featured cutouts, crashes and finally video feeds featuring Chinese translations. Eventually things got fixed. But I am sure most consumers gave up after only a few minutes.

It was a massive screw-up. Today’s event was supposed to be Apple’s biggest in some time, and for the hand selected group of sycophantic tech reporters, it certainly was. (David Pogue was particularly bad.) But the success of the Apple Watch will be determined by whether Apple can convince consumers to buy something that actually costs more than an iPhone (at first, obviously those cellphone bills…), yet Apple couldn’t even get their video stream to work for almost half the event.

Second, this event isn’t the last one of the year for Apple, one assumes. Last year, about seven weeks after the iPhone event came one that introduced new iPad models, as well as the new Mac OS. There have been rumors that the next generation iPad might not appear until next year. I find this hard to believe as it would mean that Apple has only the new iPhones to sell this holiday season. Look for some word on an iPad event coming in about two to three weeks.

Finally, what do I think of the Apple Watch. No idea. It took me a few weeks after watching the first iPhone event video to realize that Apple and launched a must-buy product. I found the iPad event boring and disappointing, but actually came away thinking that I really needed to pre-order the tablet. The AppleWatch looks pretty damn cool, very far advanced, but I’m still stuck on the idea that I don’t want to go back to having something strapped to my wrist – I’ve been free of having to wear a watch since the flip phone, do I really need to go back? Can’t almost everything the Apple Watch does also be done with the iPhone – from all the communications tasks to the new mobile payments. Really, it is not a burden to have to take my phone from my pocket to check the time. Besides, the new Apple Watch doesn’t free me from my iPhone, it only adds a device. That still feels like a step backwards to me.

But we shall see. Give me a few weeks (or longer, since the thing won’t even be available until next year – what is Apple becoming, previewing a product without a ship date, Microsoft?)

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