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Apple’s New Product: An iPhone Without an iWatch

Douglas A. McIntyre

A rumor from tech site All Things D that Apple Inc. (AAPL) will release new versions of its iPhone on September 10 has spread around to news and tech sites like a brush fire. Missing was any reference to a new iWatch, which means that Apple has left the door open for large competitors -- particularly Samsung -- to enter the market of "wearable technology" first. Obviously Apple cannot afford that, so what could be the cause or causes of such a damaging delay?

The rumor about the iPhone release is that there will be a new "cheaper" version of the product aimed down market and toward the developing world. The major anxiety among Apple watchers and investors is that Apple's image as a source of high-priced, high-quality products will be undermined. However, it would give Apple a crack at markets where its current products are priced out of place.

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The second product probably will be an iPhone 5S, which hardly will satisfy those who believe that Apple needs to release an entirely new generation of iPhone, perhaps an iPhone 6, that would catapult it back to the position as the industry's unchallenged innovative leader. Almost no one thinks that such a revolutionary product is in the offing.

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What Apple's faithful really want is a brand new product. It has to be one that takes the kind of step forward in consumer electronics that Google Inc.'s (GOOG) Glass has. The search engine company's product likely will have all the most critical features of its top of the line search and Android, and probably immediate access to multimedia services. In the past, Google chased Apple. Now that past has been replaced with a new order.

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The only reason to justify the lack of a launch of an iWatch is that one is not ready. The would be an indication that Apple's culture of sleepless nights and slavish devotion to bringing out leading edge products at any cost, both monetary and in terms of employee health and well-being, are no longer at the core of the company's culture.

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Another rumor about Apple is that its board has pressed hard on CEO Tim Cook to move more quickly in both innovation and the release of innovative products. If that has had any effect, where is the iWatch?

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