We already know what Apple delivered this week. What about what we didn’t get? It turns out that the rumor mill was a little off this year, as a few things that were seen as either likely, or at least strong possibilities, didn’t arrive as expected. Let’s take a look.
Any Apple fan with any sense and any tech aficionado that knows the company understood that 5G was never a possibility on this year’s iPhone. Beyond the fact that the ink is barely dry on their agreement with Qualcomm, history just doesn’t line up. Twice before Apple has had the opportunity to adopt a new cellular technology early. Both times they declined. The first was with the original iPhone, when they lead with 2G EDGE. The second was waiting an extra year before making the move to LTE.
This is what Apple does. It was completely predictable. 5G is too new and the chipsets too edgy for Apple to bother with today. They will wait one year until 5G is more widely available and the chipsets are better optimized for both battery life and performace.
What can I say. I am a glutton for punishment. I’m like Charlie Brown, starting to believe in the latest Pencil rumor before Lucy pulls it back and I go flying. I didn’t get my hopes up as much as last year, but a little snuck in there at the end.
Right now I don’t believe Pencil support will ever come to the iPhone. In a few months, I will start to believe again. Then it won’t come. Again.
This one seemed like a sure thing for a long time. Samsung already has it and it would have been a perfect fit with the AirPods. But just because something is a good fit doesn’t mean Apple is going to do it. Or if they do, that they will add it in a timeframe that makes sense to us. This feature will likely come in the future, maybe even next year, but take the rumors with a grain of salt after this year.
Another head-scratcher. However, unlike two-way charging, this product isn’t tied to a particular piece of hardware. This means the Tiles may still show up at a likely Apple iPad and Mac event in another month. My money is on that, as there just seems to be too much that makes sense with them coming out this year to go with the new Find My app. There is also evidence that they are coming all over iOS 13.
An Upgraded Apple TV
This is likely to show up alongside the release of the Apple TV Plus streaming service, as the hardware is due a refresh. However, it may not warrant making an appearance on stage, as it will likely just be a spec bump. It could show up at the iPad event, but I doubt it. This is likely just a press release.
Apple Services Bundle
I REALLY thought this would be announced at the iPhone event, but I was wrong. We did get some better pricing than we expected for Apple TV+ and even better, a free year for buying an iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Apple TV or a Mac. That’s something.
However, there is still more for Apple to do here. There is a lot of opportunity for them to combo other services with Apple Music and iCloud. It just makes too much sense not to happen. Maybe at the iPad event, but it feels like that might be too late for this year. My money is now on sometime next year.
Sleep tracking on Apple Watch
A big swing and a miss right here. There were a few late predictions that the Apple Watch Series 5 would have built-in sleep tracking, but no dice this year. I know this would be a challenge when it comes to battery life, but a lot of people already use third-party apps for this purpose. It makes sense for Apple to incorporate it, at some point. Apple spent its time working on an always-on display, which looks like a bigger hit with the tech press and Watch fans after the event, so if this was a choice, Apple made the right one.
A preview of AR Glasses
This was more of a pipedream than 5G. And we won’t get a free look at the iPad event, either. If I had to bet, we will get our first glimpse at WWDC next year. It will be a new developer platform, so that is the perfect place and time to do it.
So there it is. While some of these omissions were surprising, none of them are major misses on Apple part. But several of them should give us things to look forward to coming from Apple over the next year or more.
Oh, and happy preordering for all of you getting ready to snag a new iPhone in a few hours.