Yesterday Apple released its September 9, special event invitation to select media with the message “Hey Siri, give us a hint.” Thousands of people instantly grabbed their iOS devices asking Siri to “give them a hint” to see if anything particular regarding the event came up. At times, Siri does say “Well, I hear there is something big happening on September 9,” but beyond the cute response, Apple's keeping Siri quiet. At times Apple has hidden hints within their invitations as to what may be coming. This invitation may also hold some clues.
The fact that the invitation is focusing around Siri speaks volumes – literally. Siri has been beat up by tech media and users alike, as giving vague or worthless answers at times. Apple has been berated as being slow to update and advance the voice activated assistant. It has been highly rumored that a new Apple TV will be announced at the event, and Siri appears to be a big part of the device’s functionality. Let’s hope Apple TV is not only voice driven, but that Siri's development team has given it a massive upgrade, enabling Siri to work the way one would expect it to when integrated into TV controls.
The color bands silhouetting the large Apple logo are heavily associated with iOS apps. This is perhaps another hint that Apple TV will be upgraded with an app store. How a network app, versus a built-for-TV software app, versus gaming app will be separated out within the store is a mystery, but Apple has been given years to think this through. Apple TV’s app store 1.0 should be done well, and done right.
The invitation has confirmed that the event will take place at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium. The venue holds up to 7,000 people. Until Apple Watch arrived, Apple had been predictably holding its events at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, which has a seating capacity of only 757. Apple selecting a new, larger location has set off a rash of rumors. Apple releasing a new iPhone and refreshed Apple TV are all but a given, but with Apple securing a venue for up to 7,000 attendees, is Apple announcing something even bigger?
The odds of Apple bringing to market something completely unexpected and huge, which would trump the all-new iPhones, is highly unlikely if not a huge marketing blunder. The iPhone is the core of Apple, and to make it anything less than center stage at the event would be a mistake. Some are suggesting Apple will also show off its car efforts. Such a move by Apple would dwarf any coverage given to iPhone. That simply isn't going to happen. If Apple ever announces a car it will do so at its own event, rather than Tim Cook announcing new iPhone's and then relegating them to the corner of the stage.
It is much more likely that Apple will be touting the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus on a massive scale, to as many journalists as it possibly can. However, as I wrote about earlier this week, the new Apple TV is likely to be the sleeper that steals the show (whether Apple would like it to or not). By all accounts, it should be a revolutionary device for the living room, and the Siri mention within the invitation “hints” exactly that.
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