Apple made it official on Tuesday, sending out invitations for a media event for September 10th. The invitation invokes both iOS 7 and Apple's rumored multi-color iPhone 5C, and teases, "This should brighten everyone's day."
Apple Media Event Invitation
This generation of iPhone revs has been one of the most leaked product cycles in Apple's history. Photographs of two new models—a new high-end device I expect to be called the iPhone 5S and a plastic-backed device that will most likely be called the iPhone 5C—have been circulating for months, and in recent weeks, numerous units have wound up in the hands of media sites the world over.
Even the timing of this event on September 10th broke earlier than any I can recall, with the first story and a "Yep" from Jim Dalrymple appearing on August 12th, almost a month out.
In fact, the only surprising thing to me about Tuesday's invitations is that the event is being held on Apple's campus. Apple's iPhone launch events are usually Apple's largest events of the year, and the company has rented space in San Jose theaters and the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco for prior events.
While Apple is developing a dedicated space in its new spaceship HQ (still years out) that will likely be used for major launch events, the company's theater space at Infinite Loop is relatively small. The first joke I cracked was that maybe Apple was only inviting those sites who hadn't published stories about leaked units and was planning on holding the event in CEO Tim Cook's office.
While that obviously isn't the case, the reality is that holding the event on-campus means fewer journalists get invited. There is no doubt a reason for this, but not knowing what that reason is makes me curious.
I've seen at least one write-up on this—I'm looking at you, USA Today—say that, "Apple's invitation lacked the cryptic clues you sometimes see prior to one of the company's product unveilings." This isn't true, however. The circles evoke the "Dynamic" backgrounds Apple is including in iOS 7, and the colors are a mix of iOS 7 colors and the colors that we've seen on leaked iPhone 5Cs.
Many people had joked that Apple would announce this event on September 4th (Wednesday) when Samsung introduces the "Galaxy Gear" smartwatch. Apple achieves the same effect by announcing it on Tuesday. Speculation about Apple's event will dwarf coverage of Samsung's event.
Also, I personally expect Apple to officially set September 20th as the actual launch day for its new iPhones, with iOS 7 being released a few days prior. We'll know for sure next week.