Regarding separate iPhone 5 and iPad mini events

Regarding separate iPhone 5 and iPad mini events

John Gruber of Daring Fireball wrote yesterday that he thinks it's unlikely Apple will introduce both the iPhone 5 and iPad mini at the same event, rumored to be taking place on September 12.

I’m thinking it makes more sense for Apple to hold two events. First, an iPhone event, focused solely on the new iPhone and iOS 6. Then, the iPhone ships nine days later, and there’s another wave of iPhone-focused attention as the reviews come out. Then, in the first or second week of October, Apple holds its traditional “music event”, exactly along the lines of the events at which they’ve been debuting new iPods for the last decade. (Maybe more of an “iTunes event” than just “music event”, given the rise of other media like TV shows, movies, and books.1)

Jim Dalrymple of The Loop clearly thinks Gruber's on to something. Both Gruber and Dalrymple have helped set the standard for Apple reporting, and have incredibly good track records, so if they even hint at it, I'm going to look into it.

iMore first learned that Apple was going ahead with the iPad mini product back in May, that it would use the iPad interface, and that they were targeting a $200-$250 price point and October launch window. At the end of July, iMore learned that Apple was planning to hold an event on September 12, and that Apple would use that event to announce both the iPhone 5 and iPad mini. Earlier this month, alongside Seth Weintraub of 9to5Mac and Gruber, we reported on what the iPad mini will look and feel like.

But would Apple want it to share the stage with the iPhone 5, or vice versa?

The original iPhone announcement at Macworld 2007 shared the stage with a rehashed announcement for the original Apple TV. The iPhone 3G announcement at WWDC 2008 shared the stage with Snow Leopard and Mobile Me. The iPhone 3GS announcement at WWDC 2009 shared the stage with new MacBook Pros. The iPhone 4 announcement at WWDC 2010, however, didn't share the stage at all. The iPhone 4S announcement didn't even take place at WWDC -- it bumped the annual fall iTunes and iPod event and was given the important pre-holiday spotlight.

Whether there was an issue with Verizon, something to do with iOS 5, iCloud, and/or Siri timelines, or some confluence of reasons, Apple moved what had been a September event to October. And, rather than hold two fall events as Apple had sometimes done with the Mac, Apple held only a single event. They did, however, tack nominal iPod updates onto the iPhone 4S announcement.

So if Apple wanted to hold one event again in the fall of 2012, and they were ready to go in September, and they wanted to hit the market with the full shock and awe of not only an entirely updated iOS device lineup, but an entirely new iOS device -- of an Apple at the height of its powers -- then they certainly could do so. They could blot out the sun on anyone else's fall announcements. And they could arguably get the best of both worlds with a unified introduction followed by a staged rollout, with reviews and new iPhones appearing on September 21, and reviews and the iPad mini appearing in October as scheduled.

But Gruber's argument makes a lot of sense. Both are incredibly important announcements and products for Apple. New iPhones, to date, have sold as much as every previous generation iPhone combined. The iPhone alone makes more money than all of Microsoft. The iPad mini is meant to one day sell in the hundreds of millions as well. It's the future of mainstream computing.

Both the iPhone and iPad mini could each inarguably and easily be stars of their own keynotes, and give Apple a an incredible one-two combo going into the holidays

UPDATE: John Paczkowski of All Things D

As it turns out, sources said, it more than makes sense — it’s so.

With a new iPhone and a new, diminutive iPad in the pipeline, Apple has two opportunities to commandeer the tech news cycle ahead of the annual holiday shopping binge and it’s going to take them both.

Taken together, it looks like we'll have double the fun to look forward to this fall. iPhone 5 in September, iPad mini in October.

Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!

Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

Regarding separate iPhone 5 and iPad mini events


I think there will be only one event combining the annoucement of the iPhone 5 and the iPad mini because, let's face it, there is mounting pressure against Apple to blow us at each of these events... We all know what is in store for the next iPhone and iOS 6... There must be something more... Apple could introduce the new iPhone, then iOS 6 that goes with it, then an updated iPod touch line with the new nano... then.... one more thing, the iPad mini... My two cents....

I don't think that could happen, the iPhone is always a massive launch, even the 4S, and adding a new product would cause too traffic for apple to handle at one time.

"...let's face it, there is mounting pressure against Apple to blow us at each of these events..."

Was that a shot at Tim Cook? I think that was a shot at Tim Cook. Inappropriate.

I think separate would be better too. After the whole iPhone 4s thing, I think this needs to be focused solely on the iPhone and iOS 6. A hint of the iPad mini would be cool, like maybe it's in a screen shot or something.

Either way, I'm looking forward to the event.

If Apple intends to tale over the cheaper market, they are giving up a lot of sales to Google and Amazon if they wait to announce the mini later.

I agree, by announcing on Sept 12th along with the iphone, they arent giving much up to Android and Amazon. If they wait until October or later to announce, those are lost sales. Even if they announce in September and then wait until late October to start sales, people who would have selected those others because of size/price alone may actually wait for the mini to come to market.

I really hope iPad mini/air is going to release this fall. Last year Kindle Fire was a good price but cheap and slow machine. However, it will be totally different this year with Nexus 7, new Kindle and possible new comer, Surface RT, all for $199. Google is very aggressive pushing their Google Play gift card around all stores. Amazon will push their upcoming new Fire even more. On the other hand, Apple's iPad3 is basically an iPad 2 with a better screen. iOS 6 doesn't have that many killer features. I hope there is only one event and Apple updates all iOS device at one time.

If there is one thing I have learned about apple rumors is to not listen to them. Nice to read to pass the time, but I have long learned that apple rumors will show something while apple is working on something totally different.

Well if you read around here, iMore (then iPhoneblog) said there wouldnt be any iPhone 5 2 months before iPhone 4s event :)

One event to show case there echo system to the masses. This phone does this and if you buy apple tv you can do this. With the iPad you can do ect ect. It is about how everything fits together. That is the future. IMHO.

Two events make a lot of sense. First - a new design iPhone and iOS 6 will more than fill the time they normally set aside for this type of event. You know that they are going to what to really show off maps, new hardware and software features, and reiterate the advantages of LTE. I'm betting the only hint of the iPad Mini is Tim Cook mentioning there is even more to come in 2012.

If they wait another month, there will be a ton of exciting products like the rumored completly updated iPods, probable updates to iPod Touches, possibly updated iMacs - and the perfect "one more thing" - the iPad Mini, ready to start shipping immediately.

Instead of the one month of Apple excietment an "all in one" event would provide, you have full on Apple excietment and press for two months running - leading right up to the beginning of the Christmas buying season. Samsung who? Microsoft what? I'm betting the next big rumor will be that Santa's workshop is being acquired by Foxconn.

I get it anything Apple is "news worthy" but really parsing whether there will be 1 or 2 events regarding the iPhone and iPad Mini is really just pushing it, and yet here we are.

That aside Apple would most likely do two events simply because they can and they dictate who can and cannot attend like being at the event is a privilege (its a news story). This will garner lots of media attention, allow Apple to build up sufficient stock of the miniPad in time for the holidays etc.

I already have the iPad3 so I could care less about the miniPad and it likely will be a 8GB or 16GB at best to keep the costs down but they won't be getting the crazy high margins they pull in from the current iPad though.

I believe it would make more sense to spread out the events. Not only will they not be flooded with new devices which are going to sell out like the previous iphones but it also gives them some time to begin production of the ipad mini if it has not already been in production. It also allows for the rumor mill to continue along producing more rumors and HYPE which is one of the driving points of Apple.

If they didn't spread the events out and launched everything at once things here might become as savage as they did in china when the first apple store was opened and the police head to get involved.

I dont know about you but if i have to tackle a girl scout for an iphone 5 and ipad mini....... Meh.... lol