Will Apple hold a special event within the next few weeks? When Apple produced a special event is something Apple once made an absolute science. In the past, CES would come and go, and then Apple would swoop in the following week with their own special event, sucking the media attention completely away from the varied vaporware revealed in Las Vegas.
Over the past three years, Apple has shifted to holding more events in March, June or the fall timeframe, largely ignoring CES — as if irrelevant to the industry, and certainly to Apple. Apple may be on target with ignoring CES, as it is often nothing more than a lot of hype and spec. sheets, with little for anyone to tangibly buy into for the new year.
2014 looks even less likely Apple will need to juice the market with something new during January-February, as China Mobile will be launching iPhones on January 17. The China mobile launch is as big, if not bigger, than any special event Cupertino could muster. With a 670 million subscriber base (twice the population of the U.S.), even 5% of that subscriber base buying just one iPhone in 2014 represents an additional 33.5 million iPhone sold. The largest carrier launch in the world for Apple is something Tim Cook will not allow any other product or announcement share this stage.
Apple would seem more likely to hold a special event around March, but for what is the big question. iPads were recently updated, as was the MacBook platform, along with iPhones. The only likely refresh candidates would be iMacs or Apple TV, but minor updates to either seem unlikely to require a special media event.
Potential candidates requiring an Apple special event would be either some form of Apple wearable device (the highly rumored iWatch), or an all-new Apple TV device.
CES has revealed the tech industry is clearly in search of a new market, with a slew of vendors throwing out digital watches en mass, with each one likely to go absolutely nowhere. If Apple enters the wearable market with an iWatch-like product, it won't be a product in search of a problem, it will be a product with great answers to questions consumers didn't know they had.
Nike and Apple have made a successful partnership in targeting exercise enthusiasts. Nike+ and FuelBand SE products are likely to see further expansion into Apple's iWatch. Apple is not likey to spurn Nike, forcing them out of the Apple ecosystem and into Google's hands. Rather, Apple is likely to incorporate a lot co-developed software into Apple's iWatch, driving iWatch value and Nike's ever-growing computerized fitness sports apparel.
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