10 big-picture questions for Apple today
Apple’s new iPhone is important, but I’m most interested about where things are going, bigger-picture. Here’s what I’ll be looking for:
- How will Apple diversify its iPhone business? Is there a plan for the low-end of the market, pre-paid users, etc.? Or is Apple committed to the high-end only? Will the iPhone branch out into more of a “family” today?
- Will the supposed iPhone “Assistant” feature — voice controls, artificial intelligence — actually be something I’d want to use, or just a neat idea? Will it start to disintermediate Google in mobile search by changing search behavior?
- Is there anything around NFC and an in-person payments platform to talk about yet? Or has that gotten pushed to “next year” territory?
- Is Tim Cook going to act as Apple’s pitchman for new hardware going forward? Or will he play the role of M.C. and let his team do the heavy lifting? Will Steve Jobs play any “on-camera” role at all in these events?
- What’s the plan for the iPod business? Will Apple retire the iPod classic and shuffle today? Will the iPod nano become a watch? Is the iPod touch going to go in its own direction or will it continue to be an iPhone-looking thing without a phone antenna?
- What’s going on with the Apple TV and living room? Beyond any new hardware, will Apple share more about its home entertainment strategy? Does it look like an Apple television or TV App Store is on the way? Is this still a “hobby”?
- Will Apple say the word “iAd” once today? How committed is it to developing an advertising business?
- Where does Apple see itself in the social Internet? What is happening with Ping and GameCenter? Any new services? Will it also integrate with Facebook, or just Twitter? Does Apple need to own a social graph or should it mostly work with bigger, more established players on that?
- Will Apple tweak iPad pricing for the holidays in light of Amazon’s $200 Kindle Fire? Or is it confident in $500 as the base price?
- Does Apple have any sort of super-surprising “one more thing” up its sleeve? Or have things really gotten this predictable?
Related: What should Apple do with the iPod?
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