Apple's September 9 Event Won't be What we Expect

Apple's September 9 event won't be about techy things that bloggers want. It won't even be about what the best minds of the Mac Web think Apple needs to deliver. Rather, it'll be about delivering a remarkable, convincing vision that captures our imagination and enthusiasm for a better future.


I have come to learn that Apple's agenda for a big event — and the September 9 one is BIG — usually turns out to be different than observers expect.

The first, easy mistake to make is to extrapolate from what we have now to a desired technical increment. That is, if Apple is shipping product 3.0 now, then the event will introduce Product 4.0. Make a list of what was missing in 3.0 and proceed. (Yawn.)

That can work in routine events, but this event will probably be different. Except for the iPhone, then I'll elaborate.

We have a fairly good feel, from the many supply chain leaks, about the iPhone 6 features. It'll come in two sizes and will have a sapphire display. Regarding the name, the number 6 is one more than 5(s), but then we don't even know that it will be branded that way. Bumping the number is just a surmise, just as when we expected the iPad 4 to become the iPad 5. Instead, we got iPad Air.

Aside the from the iPhone, however, I think it's dangerous to put too much trust in the incremental approach when there's so much at stake. Apple's has been brewing some new visions for some time now. It's time to make a splash.

I also think it can be dangerous to draw conclusions from the politics of what's omitted. That is to say, every observer has an idea about their pet product they want to see Apple amp up. If that product isn't showcased, all kinds of dreadful conclusions are presented. (Yawn.)

For example, TMO's managing editor, Jeff Gamet, doesn't think there will be an iPad announcement. I think there will be a new iPad of some kind announced, and, for fun, we have made a bet on that. (A glass of Scotch.)

I get the feeling that this event will be so important and will so completely punctuate Apple's vision for the future (CarPlay, home automation, personal health, retail payments) that we'll be blown away by the scope of the vision that has come together. We'll also see how the foundation Apple has laid with its current and new products and OSes feeds into these visions. After all, I expect this to be primarily a product event.

When the lights go down and the band starts to play, I think we'll see some amazing integration and amazing initiatives that logically draw from Apple's steady development and integration of its products.

And then whether or not a particular product is upgraded in just the way we wanted will look myopic and foolish.

Next: the tech news debris for the week of Aug 25. iPhone 6 mania.

Page 2- The Tech News Debris for the Week of Aug 25


iPhone 6 concept via Apple Frogs

The best summary, overall, of what we might expect to see in the iPhone 6 is by the awesome Shara Tibken (@sharatibken) over at CNET. Check it out: "iPhone 6: Sorting through fact and fiction around Apple's upcoming smartphone." Amazingly, thanks to all the supply chain leaks, a pretty good picture of this new iPhone is emerging.

For those who are wondering what the display resolution will be for an iPhone 6 with a 4.7- and 5.5-inch display, John Gruber (@gruber) works out the math. It gets complex in some places, but he's made good assumptions based on increasing what we can see on the display, developer issues and available technology. "Conjecture Regarding Larger iPhone Displays."

If you don't get all the way through, here's the bottom line. 4.7-inch: 1334 x 750, 326 @ ppi. 5.5-inch: 2208 x 1242, @461 ppi. (The Galaxy Note 4 is 1440 x 2560 @ 515 ppi.)

Plus, here are some interesting reflections by Ken Segall on the strategy for Apple's September 9th event. Should the iPhone 6 and iWatch get separate events? Apple might have done that under Steve Jobs, but maybe not this time around. 'iPhone and iWatch: a dual debut?"

Awhile back, I wrote about my misadventures with magazines on my iPad. "A Mad Magazine Experiment with iPad Gone Sour". It turns out that Kirk McElhearn (@mcelhearn) and I have been of like mind on all this and have been sharing thoughts via email. Here is Kirk's take on the situation. "Why I stopped reading magazines with Newsstand." Finally, here's another article that explores the issues I complained about. "Yes, John, There Is a Better iPad Experience."

For those of you who have lamented that the only way to procure a good DVR is a bundle with a cable or satellite subscription, here's what looks to be a better answer than trying to build a home brew Linux system. "TiVo Releases A $49.99 Over-The-Air DVR For Cord Cutters." Of course, there's still a catch. The low price is possible thanks to a monthly subscription of US$14.99 and a one year commitment. But, at least, you can go over-the-air (OTA) and don't need cable or satellite. It might ne just the answer for many who want to cut the cord.

Finally, haven't these people ever heard of portable battery packs? For not too much money, one can buy a 12,000 mAh portable battery pack that will charge your iPhone eight, EIGHT!, times over. And you won't have to sit on the floor of the airport in your business suit. Here's a sorry tale, hyped a bit by exploiting technical illiteracy and the need for web hits. Not to mention that it indirectly hypes Samsung's ad campaign. I wonder ... "Your $600 iThings Reduced to Junk in Hopeless Hunt for Juice at the Airport."

That one is worth a smile anyway.


Particle Debris is a generally a mix of John Martellaro's observations and opinions about a standout event or article of the week (preamble on page 1) followed by a discussion of articles that didn't make the TMO headlines, the technical news debris. The column is published most every Friday except for holidays.