Apple has taken the unusual step of introducing its new iPhone and iPad lineups during the same media event, bypassing its usual strategy of holding separate events in September and October in order to segregate out the lineup. Apple offered up the iPhone 6S and Plus along with the new iPad Pro all at once on Wednesday, begging the question of what it has planned for October now that it’s cleared the slate of existing products.
One thing we know for certain is that Apple’s October media event, if indeed there is one, is that is that it will not be centered around Apple television sets. The company just unveiled the latest version of its Apple TV set top box product, meaning that if actual TV sets are in the pipeline, they won’t be unveiled this year. It’s also unlikely that new Mac computers would be dusted off in October. And even if the Apple Car rumors are true, they’re too far off to be appearing in 2015. So what does that leave?
There’s where things get interesting. The addition of the iPad Pro, a product which will have little mainstream consumer impact but could sell big to specific professional and corporate markets, suggests a change in philosophy for Apple. This is not a product which would have been unveiled during the Steve Jobs era, as it strays rather far from his famously consumer-centric strategy. So Apple could indeed be venturing toward more products like the Pro, which may leave consumers scratching their heads but could quietly bring in big revenue anyway. Still, such products wouldn’t be strong candidates for Apple’s last launch window before the start of the holiday shopping season. It’s also possible Apple will simply hold no October media event this year. But if that’s the case, why did it just jam all of its iPhone, iPad and TV products into the same event? This feels, on a gut level, like Apple intentionally cleared the deck so it can come out swinging in October with an entirely new product line. The question is just what that may be.