Apple is having an exciting week in the hardware department. On Monday, Apple completely altered its iPad lineup with the introduction of the iPad Air and a long-awaited spec bump to the iPad Mini. Tuesday morning began with internal updates to the 21” and 27” iMac. Finally - so far - today Apple announced the 2nd generation of AirPods, featuring the new H1 chip, hands-free “Hey Siri” support, faster switching between output devices, and an optional Qi-compatible wireless charging case. Being that it’s only Wednesday, there’s still the possibility that Apple will announce even more updates to existing products on Thursday and Friday too.
It’s not unusual for Apple to announce updates to existing products via press release. What is unusual is Apple releasing such major updates for 3 consecutive days in a row - possibly leading to an entire week of daily updates. Not to mention, this week’s updates are coming just days before the March 25th Apple Event. In the past, the updates we’ve seen this week would typically be mentioned on stage at an Apple Event - not confined to daily press releases. But this upcoming Apple Event will probably be very different from the standard Apple Events of recent.
What to Expect at the Apple Event
Apple’s March 25th event will likely be entirely services-oriented. I expect Apple to spend the bulk of the event announcing its new video streaming service. This will likely include TV and movie trailers for upcoming productions, changes to tvOS, and celebrity guests in order to portray the star-power Apple managed to hire for their service. In addition to the video streaming service, I also believe there are strong odds Apple will announce their news and magazine subscription service; a service adapted from their acquisition of the company, Texture. This alleged news and magazine subscription service received recent criticism from major news outlets for Apple’s desire to take 50% of subscription revenue. There’s also a rumor that Apple will be announcing a gaming subscription service at this event, although I’m not very confident in the likelihood of that occurring as soon as Monday’s event. Finally, with so many subscription services coming to fruition, I believe that it’s highly likely Apple will introduce a discounted, bundled version of all of these services; not too dissimilar from how Amazon bundled a variety of services into its Amazon Prime subscription.
What Not to Expect at the Apple Event
With so many services being announced at Monday’s event and so many hardware updates being announced the week prior, I believe it’s safe to assume that there will be no new hardware announced at this Apple Event. If my analysis of what to expect at the event is true, then I believe the event is not just a showcase of services for consumers, but also a showcase to TV and film production studios in an effort to recruit their content for Apple’s video streaming service.
Monday’s event will likely not be a tech-y showcase of new hardware. We may not even see Phil Schiller of Craig Federighi on stage, but rather the former Sony-executives heading up production on the video service. This lack of hardware at this event may be why Apple is releasing changes and updates to its hardware lineup all this week, ahead of the event. Over the years, Apple has curated an expectation of hardware and software updates revealed on stage every March, June, and September. With such an expectation from its users and fans, and what will probably be an Apple Event like no other fast approaching, I believe that Apple is satiating the expectations of the technology-lovers ahead of a not-so-tech-y Apple Event.