Dr. Mac Handicaps Apple's "Hey, Siri" Event

Dr. Mac’s Rants & Raves
Episode #140

Most companies, including Apple, do their best to attract media attention when announcing a new product. But Apple isn’t like most companies when it comes to product announcements. Instead of using press releases, trade shows, press conferences, and other traditional forms of media outreach, Apple typically introduces its new products at extravagantly-produced invitation-only media events.

One of the hallmarks of these Apple media events is that the invitation never does more than hint at what’s being announced. Last year’s invitation, for example, said, “9.9.2014. Wish we could say more,” with the location, date, and time in fine print. See? No indication of what was being announced whatsoever. (It was the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, and Apple Watch, if you’ve forgotten already).

This year was no different with an invitation that said only, “Hey Siri, give us a hint,” with the location, date, and time.

Apple invitations are purposfully vague and this event was no exception.

I’ve got to tell you, over the years Apple’s love of secrecy has led to some interesting conversations with editors when I requested travel funds to attend an event that may or may not even be a new product announcement.

And Apple’s mysterious ways have had an interesting side effect… As soon as an event is announced, the tech community explodes with myriad predictions of what, exactly, Apple will announce. Being a denizen of the Apple community myself, I’m gonna throw my hat into the ring and handicap some of the predictions I’ve seen and heard in the past week:

  • New iPhone models (99.5% chance): It is September and Apple has traditionally introduced the next generation of iPhone at a special event at this time of year. In fact, last year’s event was exactly one year before this years – September 9, 2014 and 2015. I say there’s no chance we won’t see new iPhones (the 0.5% is what I call “weasel-rounding,” just in case).
  • Release dates for iOS 9 and OS X 10.11 El Capitan (99%): D’oh.
  • Force Touch screens on new iPhone models (80%): Apple Watch introduced Force Touch technology, which senses the difference between a tap and a press and provides a new way to quickly and easily access controls within apps. I like it on my Apple Watch and I think it’s likely we’ll see Force Touch on at least one new iPhone model and possibly all of them.
  • New Apple TV (75%): The current Apple TV is long in the tooth and is definitely due for a major overhaul. I think this may finally be both the time and place at which we’ll finally see it. (And if not, I hope TMO’s own Kelly Guimont and John Martellaro survive yet another disappointment.)
  • New iPad models (50%): Last year’s September event introduced new iPhones and the Apple Watch, leaving no time for new iPads, which debuted at their own special media event the next month. Some believe we’ll see a gigantic iPad Pro model with a stylus at this event, but my crystal ball is hazy. So I give new iPads a big “maybe.”
  • New iMac models (50%): It has been a while… and Intel has some hot new chips coming online. On the other hand, is this the appropriate time and place to debut new iMacs? I think not, but it could be. Ergo, another big “maybe.” 
  • Lower prices for current Apple Watches (10%): I don’t think I saw anyone else make this prediction, but when I got to thinking about what we might see and hear tomorrow, I think it may have an outside chance.
  • New Apple Watch models (1%): Two words: too soon.
  • New Apple Car (0.001%): Four words: Yes, but not tomorrow.

One last thing: I’ll be covering tomorrow’s event live for TMO here and on Twitter, so I’ll tell you what Apple actually did announce in next week’s Dr. Mac’s Rants & Raves.

And that’s all he wrote…