Apple Could Hold Separate Media Events for iPhone, iPad Mini

While it’s pretty much decided by the rumor mill, the pundits’ lounge, the Taiwan-leak machine, and well-informed geeks and nerds everywhere that Apple is going to A.) have a media event on September 12th, and B.) announce a new iPhone, a smaller iPad, and maybe even something new for the TV market, it now appears that Apple could be spreading these announcements over two separate media events.

The Apple Rumor Mill

The Apple Rumor Mill

LoopInsight’s Jim Dalrymple and Daring Fireball’s John Gruber set the Mac blogoshpere abuzz on Thursday with a one-two punch that strongly suggests Apple will introduce the iPhone 5 (or whatever it’s named) on September 12th. At some point later in the Fall, the company would then have a second event where it would introduce the smaller iPad and whatever else the company is planning for the holidays.

Mr. Gruber opined that in light of the September 12th media even and rumors about the various new products in the works, that Apple isn’t likely to want to have these new devices competing for attention in the mainstream media. Instead, he wrote, “I’m thinking it makes more sense for Apple to hold two events.”

The first event would focus on the iPhone, he said, as well as the newly minted iOS 6. In the second week of October, Apple could then hold its traditional fall music-centric media event, or perhaps an iTunes-centric event if one wanted to get with the times.

Mr. Dalrymple then linked to the Daring Fireball post, and added, “Oh that Gruber is a smart fellow.”

Which is true. John Gruber is a smart fellow, as is Jim Dalrymple. It’s a seemingly glib comment, but you can probably take Mr. Dalrymple’s endorsement of Mr. Gruber’s analysis to the bank. As we’ve noted in the past, he is well connected at Apple, and his confirmational commentary on Apple events tends to be borne out by time.

What makes sense to us is that Apple is engaging in some expectation management with a well-orchestrated controlled leak. Apple doesn’t pre-announce anything, but the reality is that Apple’s supply chain is so large these days, nothing stays secret. All but the finest details of its upcoming products are well known ahead of time.

As such, it doesn’t behoove the company for the world (and Wall Street) to expect Apple to unveil a smaller iPad or a new Apple TV product on September 12th if the company isn’t going to actually announce at that time. It could otherwise turn into a situation where rather than being impressed with the iPhone 5, folks focus on being disappointed at the lack of the iPad.

This is just as true as Mr. Gruber’s sound reasoning that there’s no need to have the mainstream media divide its attention on multiple new Apple devices, especially if the company isn’t going to release some of them until later in the fall. Indeed, the manufacturing realities of producing these new products plays perhaps the most important role in the timing of Apple’s media events.