Apple has sent out invites to selected media to join them in San Francisco’s Bill Graham Civic Auditorium on Wednesday September 7th. It is an open secret that the event will reveal the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus smartphones, and it is highly likely that a second-generation Apple Watch will also be revealed.
Following the event, pre-orders for the iPhone 7 family of devices are expected to open on Friday September 9th, with sales to commence one week later on September 16th.
The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 will be a curious mix of new technology and stop-gap measures designed to break Apple’s smartphone business away from a two-year cycle that would see a ‘vanilla’ numbered handset one year followed by an upgrades ‘S’ handset in the following years. Much of the technology that could cause excitement and drive the iPhone forward is not expected to be seen until the tenth anniversary iPhone that will be released in 2017. Touches like a curved screen, OLED displays, and an all-glass chassis to go with the front and back covers will have to wait.
Tim Cook’s job this September will be to sell the iPhone 7 as something that is new and exciting, while hoping that the world’s press will not focus on the fact that much of the iPhone 7 technology is already present in other handsets – Huawei debuted a dual-lens cameras earlier this year, and changes such as an increase in base storage, a larger camera lens and improved antenna placement are little more than iterative updates.
Expect this launch to be littered with iterative updates ‘that only Apple can deliver‘.
The biggest challenge of the presentation is going to be selling the removal of the 3.5mm headphone jack. In its place consumers will have to rely on bluetooth equipped headphones, or headphones that have licensed the use of a lightning jack from Apple’s Made for iPhone program. While Apple has removed hardware from products before, the iPhone is an order of magnitude more popular and it’s going to require a lot of work to sell this to a public that is going to have to buy bulky adaptors or buy new headphones specifically for use with the iPhone.