WSJ: Apple to Hold iPhone Launch Event on 12 September

Tripp Mickle and Drew FitzGerald, reporting for The Wall Street Journal:

Apple Inc. has scheduled a product-announcement event on Sept. 12, according to people briefed on its plans, reinforcing expectations that the technology giant will release new iPhones and a smartwatch well ahead of the holiday shopping season.

That’s the date I would have bet on. Last few years it’s been the Wednesday after Labor Day, but that felt too early this year.

The company is expected to unveil three iPhones, according to other people familiar with its plans. Those include a showcase iPhone to mark the product’s 10th anniversary that is larger and pricier and features an edge-to-edge display and facial-recognition technology, as well as updates to the two iPhone 7 models that started selling last year.

They’re not launching D22 this year because it’s the iPhone’s 10th anniversary. They’re launching it this year because it’s ready. If it had been ready last year, they would have launched it last year. They might well mention the 10th anniversary of the original iPhone on stage at the event, but I would be very surprised — and probably a little alarmed — if they make it part of the marketing campaign for the device. Again, they might put it in the keynote event (like they did with the company’s 40th anniversary), but that was never part of any advertising campaign.

The trick Apple needs to pull off here is making all three new iPhones look new and exciting. Calling D22 the special 10th Anniversary iPhone makes the 4.7- and 5.5-inch models seem non-special.

In the past two years it has used San Francisco’s Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, but people close to the company say it is aiming to use the 1,000-seat Steve Jobs Theater on its new headquarters campus. The new headquarters, however, aren’t finished, and the construction timetable could affect the timing or location of the event, those people said.

We’re two weeks away from the event. The Journal’s sources may not know where it’s being held, but Apple does. (But it leaves me hanging where I should book a hotel room.)

Tuesday, 29 August 2017