August 20 update below. This post was first published on August 18, 2022.
Apple’s next special event is just a few days away, if the latest report is correct, and it will take place on Wednesday, September 7.
That’s according to Mark Gurman of Bloomberg, who just reported the date he thinks is correct. To be fair, he was not the first to predict this date. Last week, Max Weinbach floated the idea that the event would be on September 7th, not September 13th as had previously been mooted. This meant that the likely release date of the next iPhones, not to mention a range of three Apple Watch models and perhaps the next AirPods Pro, could also be brought forward.
August 20 update. What started as a solitary report turned into a trickle and is now turning into a flood. Read on for the latest rumors and some details. I think I can guarantee you that you haven’t heard about the latest Apple presentation yet.
In addition to Max Weinbach and Mark Gurman, there is now corroboration from Ming-Chi Kuo (seen below). These solidly consistent analysts have led others to join. There was careful analysis of what’s been done before, by BGR.com and now the regularly trusted MacRumors has said: “It’s not quite official, but it looks like we finally have a date for the big iPhone 14 event, so please mark your calendars and read some of what we might see at the event.” The site also quotes Gurman, but adds its own detail: “iPhone events often take place on Tuesdays, but Monday, September 5, is the Labor Day holiday in the United States, so Apple will probably delayed the event until Wednesday to provide a one-day buffer.” . iPhone events have occurred on Wednesday four times in the past.”
I would definitely agree with that. Although none of these sources say what the nature of the event will be, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that it will be a replica of the WWDC event held at Apple Park.
Similarly, 9to5Mac says: “Although nothing is confirmed, it is common sense that this could be the perfect time for the company to introduce the iPhone 14, the Apple Watch Series 8 and more. Since WWDC 2022 had a hybrid experience, it looks like the company could bring the same experience to its September event, as a report says Apple has already started recording the keynote.”
That report came from Gurman, that keynote recording started some time ago, a smart move so that until the last minute, Apple can opt for a completely virtual event.
But I think the keynote will be shown on a huge, very bright outdoor screen in Apple Park, like it was at WWDC, while being simulcast on the web.
By the way, here’s something you may not have heard: Before the broadcast, members of the press sat sweating and liberally applying sunscreen on the edge of Caffe Macs as the sun went down, wondering how they would survive the sunlight. sun for over an hour. The answer came when, a second or two before the 10 am kick-off, the sun had moved enough that the press lines were in shadow. I’m not saying that Apple has somehow fixed the sun to do this, but if any company can…
Anyway, here’s a tip: When the invites go out, look to see if the location is Steve Jobs Theater or just Apple Park. If it’s the latter, it will be in the same location as WWDC (though perhaps the seating will be rearranged to allow for different sunlight as we head into fall). Of course, it will be a smaller event as there will be no developers this time.
More details will no doubt leak out as time goes on, so check back as I’ll be covering them here at Forbes, but for now, read on for what we know so far.
August 19 update. As soon as trustworthy Mark Gurman suggested that the reveal date for this year’s iPhones would be Wednesday, September 7, another well-regarded analyst entered the fray.
TFI Securities’ Ming-Chi Kuo commented yesterday: “The iPhone 14 announcement/ship date may be earlier than iPhone 13/12, which could be one of the reasons why Apple provided a positive outlook for 3Q22. since the last earnings call.
This is an incisive insight into an earnings call, and Kuo says the numbers Tim Cook and company predicted were in part because they knew iPhones would get an extra week of sales in the current quarter. The rest of us didn’t know this as the expectation of a 9/13 reveal was widespread.
This makes sense: Releasing iPhones earlier can only be a good thing for Apple’s sales, especially since people conventionally stop buying iPhones in August, waiting for the new model to launch in mid-September. Therefore, reducing that fallow time by a full week is good business practice.
Kuo goes on to reveal that while this launch is good for sales, it can be done to minimize problems: “The risk of a global recession continues to grow and is unpredictable, so announcing/shipping the iPhone as soon as possible can minimize the impact. of the risk of recession. On demand.”
I’m not so convinced by this, for the US market anyway, as there are signs that inflation may be cooling now, so the reluctance to make expensive purchases may be less enthusiastic than expected. That said, the earlier is definitely the better.
The possibility of the event taking place in the week beginning September 5 had been ruled out, because the launch is usually a week later. And anyway, Monday the 5th of September is a holiday, so it seemed unlikely that staff and press from around the world would be traveling on a holiday for an event on Tuesday the 6th of September.
Unless, that is, the event is virtual rather than in person. Gurman believes the event is being recorded so it is likely a virtual event.
Moving the date of the event (virtually or in person) to a Wednesday, while unprecedented, is unusual. But holding an in-person event on Wednesday, September 7 would solve the problem of relocating staff and guests on a public holiday.
But a virtual event? I understand the thinking behind this, and after all, Apple is very cautious about how it conducts its events when Covid isn’t that far in the rearview mirror.
Still, I think Gurman is wrong when he says, “The company intends to stream the event online, rather than hold an in-person meeting, continuing the approach it took at the start of the pandemic.”
In June, Apple hosted a highly successful hybrid event, with a pre-recorded keynote played on a huge video screen in Apple Park for hundreds of developers, select guests, and the press.
If that were possible, why not hold a hybrid event now with a smaller guest list, since no developers will likely be invited?
That event started with a live appearance by Tim Cook and Craig Federighi hosting the main stream and it worked out well. My guess, and it’s nothing more than that, is that this is the format that Apple will follow this September when it announces its new iPhones and more.
Of course, we won’t know until the invitations go out, and until such time as they do, Apple may opt to go with a virtual-only event, something I think it would only consider if there’s a sudden spike in Covid transmissions in California. If that happens, then you have your pre-recorded keynote up your sleeve.
So what does all this mean?
Whether the event is live or virtual, assuming it happens on Wednesday, September 7 at 10 a.m. Pacific, I think the shiny new iPhones, Apple Watches, and AirPods Pro will go on sale on Friday, September 16.
Stay tuned for more details as they emerge.
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