Apple iPhone 13 Event — Finally!

The invitations are out. The website is up. The YouTube stream is prepped. The Ted Lasso biscuits are most assuredly baked. Apple's September 14, 2021 Event is a go!

And I’m going to have a ton, a metric ton, of videos going up after the event, so hit that subscribe button and bell and I’ll share one of those biscuits. Emoji biscuits!

What does the event invitation say?

The invitation shows a lake set between two mountains. With an Apple logo between them. Maybe Tenaya Lake in Yosemite. It’s dawn. Maybe dusk. But all pink and cyan. Like… cyberpunk dusk. And there’s the outline of Apple logo dead center, glowing like neon.

Now, I’m going to attempt to read these tea leaves like they’re the plot to Avengers 5, but it’s important to remember that Apple marketing never actually tells the graphic design department what’s happening at the event. They just hand them a spec for the visuals.

So, like, they don’t say we’re putting Portrait Mode in the iPhone 7, they just say… do bokeh, b’okay? Or, we’re going to have the iPhone 11 in a taste-the-rainbow of Skittle-like colors, they just say, Apple logo, but in these translucent layers, That kind of thing.

In other words, think big themes rather than specific Easter eggs. So this probably isn’t the big reveal of the revolutionary new Portal device Craig was testing in plain sight back at WWDC, you know, just to mess with Captain Disillusion. It’s not… Apple-ture Freaking Science or something.

I mean, it could just be an extra piece of art leftover from one of the Crack Marketing Team’s VW van rides through the California wilderness, and it was either use it as an extra macOS dark mode wall… or this.

Because it sure don’t look like Monterey and Apple typically does Mac events in October, not September. But I have another idea, which I’ll get to with the tag line in just a sec.

Of course, any time in the year or two when Apple’s included an AR experience in the invites, you have all the usually suspects hype-jacking virtual and augmented reality — mixed reality, basically. Finally. In other words, the Apple TV-like VR headset or Apple Watch-like AR glasses. And… they’ll probably happen eventually, but like the last year or two, sometimes a cool invite demo is just a cool invite demo.

And this particular one is Apple’s best to date, because you can light up a logo of your very own, and then Portal right on into it to see the date event date emerge. More on that in a cake-is-a-lie minute.

And, yeah, you know it, Apple’s senior Vice President of marketing, Greg Jozwiak, Joz, you had to do the wickedest of Apple Park AR flexes of the demo imaginable.

Anyway, that’s my quick read of the leaves. Let me know yours in the comments!

The tagline this time is California streaming. Period.

It’s a play on California Dreamin’, by the Momas and the Papas, just with the apostrophe taken out and the G returned. You know, all the leaves are gray and the sky is pink, and the sky is blue… Something like that.

But it could also mean Apple is just gone plain stir crazy out

With a period at the end, because Apple has to find a way to trigger TikTok zoomers with unintentionally aggressive punctuation the way they’ve been triggering trade paper Gen-Xers for years with the intentionally ambiguous lack of Oxford commas.

But I digress! A lot!

Apple is headquartered in California and the event will be streaming, and beyond any big updates to services like TV+ or Apple Music — can I get a classical plus? — It might just be that simple.

Or, and I’m just spitballing here, or… maybe Apple has gotten just a little stir crazy over the last many Park events and they want to get into the great outdoors. Put Deidra back on a paddle board. Get the kids back into the Redwoods. Keep climbing those Sierras.

And why not use that Yosemite vista to show off hot new video capture capabilities, and 120Hz Endor… I mean Marin County speeder bike playback. Or, you know, Fitness+ on the beach… like I was in LA…

With over a year of experience, a month of lede time, and all the new tech rumored for this fall, it’d almost be a pity to keep it all caged up in Cupertino!

Especially because the event is once again virtual, as in live-to-drive, with no one actually in attendance at Apple Park. Despite so many of us so hoping the world would have stopped ending by now, and we’d be back to in-person events already. Delta just laughed at us. Like, puny human Hulk laugh. So we need to wait for more of us to get fully vaxxed, especially internationally where availability has been much, much harder, and keep following best masking and distancing practices, that… or wait another year or two for it burn down, whichever — Darwiningly or Darlosingly — comes first.

Either way, we should see all the speed ramps, crane shots, drone shots, spatial transitions, and other effects Apple has past-mastered over the last few episodes of the Event Show. Which is why, right after my inner Apple nerd finishes re-watching the event —because it’s impossible for me to retain anything when I’m actually covering it, that’s just straight into my brainstem, straight out into content — my inner cinematography nerd ends up watching it again, maybe again, so I pick about all the camera moves and edits.

And September 14 is, of course, a return to the pattern Apple has been using for iPhone events for almost a decade, since the iPhone 5 in 2012, and for iPod events before that. It’s their big tentpole for the fall. The show stopper. The main eventer. Which, this year, just the safest bet in the industry means the iPhone 13.

Probably right alongside the AirPods 3 and Apple Watch Series 7. Though recent rumors about manufacturing issues suggest there may be limited quantities of the new Watch at launch, or a delayed launch, like we’ve seen with some iPhone models in the past. Either way, we won’t know of sure until Tim Cook starts Good Morning-ing all the products at us.

Also on this year’s yote list, from more likely in September to less likely until October or November, are the 9th gen iPad, redesigned iPad mini… like iPad Air mini… 14- and 16-inch M1X MacBooks Pro, M1X Mac mini, with the M1X iMac and Mac Pro as just the longest of shots right now.

Personally, though, for me, what I really, really want to hear about the A15 chipset, Apple’s next generation custom silicon, which will be powering the iPhone 13 and should also be the foundation for next year’s M2 and maybe M2X Macs. Hey, an Apple nerd can dream!