Mark Gurman: 3 reasons Apple postponed its new hardware releases until last week

"The timing is notable since the company typically likes to launch new devices in the spring, summer and fall."

From Gurman's "Apple Timed New Macs and HomePod to Boost Its Spring Quarter" posted Sunday by Bloomberg:

Apple Inc. kicked off the year with a burst of January product announcements: the latest MacBook Pro, Mac mini and HomePod speaker. The timing is notable since the company typically likes to launch new devices in the spring, summer and fall.

And that was indeed the original plan: Apple had sought to debut these three products last year. That would have set up a fairly jam-packed schedule, with the M2 iPad Pro line, latest Apple TV, new MacBook Pro, updated Mac mini and revamped HomePod all coming during a post-iPhone fall flurry.

Instead, Apple decided to roll out the iPad and Apple TV and hold off on launching the latter three products until this past week. The question is, why? I have two plausible theories:

    • One answer is supply-chain issues. It’s possible that the company couldn’t produce the new MacBook Pro and Mac mini in necessary quantities until after it got the latest — and arguably more important — iPhones, Apple Watches and iPads out the door.
    • The other possibility is software: The new HomePod needs its version of 16.3 to support new features like temperature and humidity sensing, in addition to things like updated ambient sounds and Find My support.

Finally, the theory signaled in the headline:

Last year, Apple rolled out the 5G iPhone SE, Mac Studio and Studio Display during its fiscal second quarter, which runs through March. There is no equivalent stream of new products coming in Q2 this year. But releasing new Macs and HomePods in January will make that year-over-year comparison a bit less painful.

My take: Gurman's just guessing.

19 Comments

  1. David Emery said:
    “My take: Gurman’s just guessing.”
    To quote Leroy Jethro Gibbs, “Ya think?”

    4
    January 22, 2023
  2. Greg Lippert said:
    My take: Gurman’s just guessing.

    Ha. What else is new?

    2
    January 22, 2023
  3. Gregg Thurman said:
    For next Christmas I’ll gift Mark some new darts, if someone else will replace his ouji board.

    Sad, he was positioned to be the pre-eminent Apple writer, but succumbed to clicks instead.

    2
    January 22, 2023
    • Horace Dediu said:
      The only stories I’ve read are publication of leaks which means somebody somewhere violated their employment or contractual obligations in order to release it.(*) Contract law treats this information as stolen goods but journalism treats it as “scoops”. It always makes me sit and wonder how this distinction is possible.

      (*) If I’m wrong about this I would love to see an explanation how non-public information can be obtained without a causal chain that leads to a law being broken.

      0
      January 23, 2023
      • S Lawton said:
        The journalist is covered. The leaker if he has signed a contract is not.

        0
        January 23, 2023
        • Jerry Doyle said:
          @S Lawton said: “….The journalist is covered. The leaker if he has signed a contract is not.”

          You are correct, ma’am. However, why should the publisher not be held accountable if the company can show that the journalist’s publication of the data or information injured its bottom line? I am excluding national security issues and other matters the public may need to know. I am referring specifically to privileged information where only the company’s bottom line could sustain damage if inherent industrial secrets are prematurely released.

          0
          January 23, 2023
          • S Lawton said:
            “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
            In the US, publishers are considered part of the press

            1
            January 23, 2023
            • Robert Stack said:
              With the caveat that IANAL, I think its a bit more complicated than that. Journalists (and their employers) can be sued if they KNOWINGLY publish false or defamatory information that causes injury or loss of business. But it is often very difficult to prove the Knowingly part. Ergo witness the current lawsuits pending against Fox News (and other outlets) filed by Dominion Voting machines, which claims Fox knowingly published false stories about the security of their machines – which they claim has cost them millions in lost sales. Fox has tried to get these suits dismissed based on “freedom of the press”, but so far they’ve not been successful. Turning back towards Gurman, it would seem therefore that all he has to do is claim he believed whatever he published when he wrote it and it’s likely there’s little Apple can do about it.

              0
              January 23, 2023
              • Jerry Doyle said:
                @Robert Stack: you are referencing from where I am coming with my response to Ms. Lawton. There is a nebulous area in the law that is difficult to substantiate but often quickly perceived as observing an act wrong from the get-go. Laws are written to be broad. Subsequent regulations (or rules) give more prescriptive guidance. Agency policy goes further to provide even more specificity. I genuinely believe that this specific issue needs examining.

                0
                January 23, 2023
            • Jerry Doyle said:
              @S Lawton: “… or of the press;…”

              Yes, ma’am, I suspected you would quote me the Constitution. There is no contention for me to argue against the law. I see the protection the law affords when the press publishes information for “good.” I am talking about a moral law of protecting a wrong. I value your opinion. Do you support a law that protects evil?

              0
              January 23, 2023
              • S Lawton said:
                Unfortunately evil is in the eye of the beholder and laws can have unintended consequences. An example of a view of evil with two sides is the abortion issue. Each side views the other point of view as wrong or in the extreme, evil. With regards to the constitution, our forefathers viewed this as essential to human rights. Even worse than your view of protecting intellectual property is the damage paparazzi due to individuals who have fame either directly or indirectly yet the yellow press has been active since the beginning of our republic. What I abhor are the secrets journalists know and do not report. Apple has the means and money to protect themselves and punish the individuals who leak. If the punishment is severe enough, it will stop.

                0
                January 23, 2023
      • Jonny T said:
        Agree with Horace. Makes you wonder how many “scoops” by Gurman resulted in someone getting fired. I’m pretty sure Apple has some smart people on the case of any leak.

        0
        January 23, 2023
      • Jerry Doyle said:
        @Horace Dediu: “….It always makes me sit and wonder how this distinction is possible.”

        You raise an interesting issue comparison that I never considered. The issue is a journalist who knowingly accepts privileged industrial information and profits by publicizing the material. The journalist should be subject to arrest if the leak’s perpetrator was found and brought to justice as having received and profited from stolen goods. The legal establishment treats the pawn shop owner who knowingly receives and sells stolen goods as involved in criminal activity for profit in his business establishment. Should similar consideration be given if the news publication injures the party sustaining industrial damage from the premature release of the information?

        0
        January 23, 2023
  4. Tommo_UK said:
    This guy spouts more rubbish more frequently than I do.

    8
    January 22, 2023
    • David Emery said:
      But your rubbish is generally well-reasoned (even if we disagree with the assumptions or the reasoning), as opposed to “arbitrary nonsense” 🙂 🙂

      5
      January 22, 2023
  5. Daniel Epstein said:
    Well how about the answer being all of the above. The least likely reason for delay is software. Few of these products would not have been tested with the current software release. Supply chain issues highly likely. Helping the 2nd quarter revenue is possible but not high on my list. Might be a useful benefit of the timing. Apple hinted at this at the quarterly report by saying the Mac business was going to shrink because of product introduction timing. Of course they were referring to the previous years introduction of new models. I still wonder if Apple is clearing the decks so they can have a targeted introduction of something we are waiting for but not updated yet.

    1
    January 22, 2023
  6. Lalit Jagtap said:
    Gurman is trying to hold onto his job by publishing made up fiction.

    0
    January 22, 2023
    • Tommo_UK said:
      @Lailit

      “Pulp Fiction,” Gurman Special Edition

      0
      January 23, 2023

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