Apple Inc. signalled today that it will hold to its pattern of releasing a new iPhone this fall, holding a launch event in San Francisco on Sept. 9.
What’s different about this event is Apple’s choice of a 7,000-seat venue, the largest it has ever held such an event in. Perhaps that will signal more news than a new iPhone with a slightly bigger screen or a revised interface sensitive to the pressure of your touch. (By the way if you have an iPhone, you can get in on Apple’s easter egg by asking Siri to “give you a hint” about the Sept. 9 event.)
Apple’s launch events tend to take over the Internet for at least a good hour while everyone tunes in to the live stream to see what new products it might unveil. If you know you won’t be able to avoid it but are hoping to glean a bit more insight into how Apple’s announcement might make an impact on your job, here’s a few things that marketers should be looking out for on Sept. 9:
- Will Apple Pay really come to Canada? A report in the Wall Street Journal earlier this year indicated that Apple was negotiating with Canadian financial institutions to launch Apple Pay here in the Fall. The September event might be a good time to announce such availability. Apple rumours blog 9to5Mac says that iOS 9, the OS that will come installed on the next iPhones, will have an updated Passbook application that can support Canadian banks and credit cards. If it does make the announcement, it will be a signal to Canadian marketers to start making known their company’s capability to accept payment in this new form.
- Are there any changes to the iAds platform? Launched back in 2010, results for iAds have been weaker than Apple intended. The ad platform that integrates into the plethora of third-party apps available through its App Store has steadily increased access for marketers over the last few years and even introduced programmatic buying late last year. Given that all estimates for mobile advertising suggest its market is on a sharp rise, marketers should expect Apple to keep pushing this platform and opening up various access options.
- How are Apple’s new categories performing? Apple tends to use these opportunities to share successes in terms of number of units sold or number of users subscribed. Of most interest are details relating to sales of the Apple Watch and adoption of live streaming service Apple Music. Both subjects have been a bit of a mystery so far, with Apple obfuscating sales of its wearable in its last quarterly earnings report, and recently refuting a study that suggested nearly half of Apple Music users ditched the service even before their free trial ended. Sharing any successes here (or choosing not to do so) would help marketers gauge the overall appetite for two new categories in the consumer space – wearables and livestreaming audio services.