Apple stays in its lane, announces no 'new product categories'
While 2013 has reverberated with recurring rumors of the next big Apple product, the company's October 22 event featured no new unveilings. Where does that leave some of the most popular rumored products?
As mentioned this morning, Apple could still be working on these products but didn't have anything ready to announce for the October 22 event. Apple does not typically hold product announcements in November or December since the lucrative holiday shopping season is already in full bloom by then. So, it's unlikely that we'll hear an announcement about any major new Apple product until January 2014, at the earliest.
Another possibility is that Apple has merely explored these products and decided not to enter these markets, or at least not yet. And, of course, there's the alternative that Apple has no interest in these markets and the scuttlebutt is off the mark.
However, with all of the iWatch trademarks Apple has filed around the world, I think it's most likely that we'll see an Apple smartwatch in 2014. An Apple phablet is the next most probable 2014 market that Apple could enter, since it has certainly lost some of its early adopter crowd over the larger screens on Samsung, HTC, and Nokia devices. But that would also mean splintering its phone/tablet market into even more SKUs, which belies the company's core value of simplicity. The least likely of the three possibilities is the Apple HDTV set, since the TV business is such a low-margin, brutally-competitive market. However, if Apple was to make a high-end 4K 65-inch model with a ground-breaking gesture- and/or voice-based interface, then that could be an Apple product that might make sense.
The other disappointment on Tuesday for many business professionals who use the iPad was that Apple did not announce a fancy keyboard cover to rival Microsoft's Touch Cover. For now, Apple appears content to let Logitech and the rest of the accessory vendors make all of the money on iPad keyboards, and to let Microsoft own the innovation crown for the best tablet keyboard.