Apple to webcast iPhone event on Sept. 9

Apple Sept. 9 invitation
Credit: Apple

Raises the stakes, and expectations, that the company will trumpet not just the iPhone 6, but also wearable devices

Apple today said that it would present a live webcast of its Sept. 9 event, where the company is expected to unveil one or more new iPhones and perhaps also show the long-rumored "iWatch" -- a catchall nickname for an expected line of wearable devices.

In a small mention on the home page of its website, Apple noted that the event would be webcast starting at 10 a.m. Pacific time (1 p.m. Eastern time) on Tuesday.

As has been the case with previous live broadcasts, Apple will limit this one to people using Safari on OS X or iOS, or its Apple TV peripheral. Windows users will be out of luck unless they have a virtual machine running OS X.

Apple used the same "Wish we could say more" tagline in the promotion for the webcast that it used in the media and analyst invitations that went out last week.

The event will take place at the Flint Center for the Performing Arts, which is on the campus of De Anza College in Cupertino, Calif. The Flint Center seats 2,400 -- significantly more than either the theater on Apple's campus, which the company used last year for the iPhone 5S and 5C unveilings, or the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, where Apple hosted its 2012 iPhone 5 presentation.

Co-founder and former CEO Steve Jobs unveiled the original Mac on Jan. 24, 1984, at the Flint Center. (The portion of the shareholders' meeting where Jobs introduced the Mac begins at the 40:56 mark in this YouTube video.)

The choice of the venue, its size and even the impenetrable tagline led analysts to speculate last week that Apple has other products besides the anticipated iPhone 6 up its sleeve. Such speculation has been bolstered by the fact that a large structure that has gone up in front of the Flint Center.

A video taken from a short drone flight over the De Anza College campus and the Flint Center showed the size of the temporary building.

Apple has a spotty history with live webcasts of its events: It has long broadcast the keynotes of its Worldwide Developers Conferences (WWDC), and for the past two years it has also webcast its annual iPad events. But it has not gone live for an iPhone introduction before.

That, too, speaks to the significance of the event, reiterated Ezra Gottheil, an analyst with Technology Business Research. "I really think that they're going to do an entire product line [unveiling]," he said today.

Last week, Gottheil speculated that the change of venue was a strong hint that Apple would cover not only the iPhone and a new wearable line, but also include an iPad refresh. In years past, Apple has scheduled separate presentations for its new iPhones and iPads, with the latter following the former by a month or more.

Others are expecting a big splash next week. Brian White, a financial analyst with Cantor Fitzgerald, has been calling Apple's likely product rollout "Fab Fall" for months, in part because of comments by Apple executives.

In May, for example, Eddy Cue, Apple's chief of Internet software and services, raised expectation when he said, "We've got the best product pipeline that I've seen in my 25 years at Apple" during an interview at Re/code's conference.

Next week's webcast will be available from Apple's site.

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