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Fresh off its iBooks 2 announcement and approaching the expected announcement of the iPad 3, a new rumor is suggesting Apple might have a new announcement coming soon – and it could be ”strange.”
Mashable has the story, which cites a report from a Japanese blog called Makotakara that reports it has heard from U.S. and Japanese Apple sources that another announcement event is planned for sometime before the iPad 3 announcement expected this spring. If we go by last year’s schedule (when the iPad 2 was announced in March), that means Apple has just a month to come out with…whatever it might be about to come out with.
Here’s a translated quote from Makotakara, care of Mashable:
“I reported that Apple was going to hold Special Event in early February according to Asian supplier and source from united states, but this report told a half-side of truth,” the blog said. “Apple will hold ‘Strange’ event at February instead of Special Event [SIC].”
It seems “strange” in this context doesn’t mean “weird” so much as “unusual.” Given that Apple just came off the announcement for iBooks 2 and its textbook push, unusual could mean a lot of things. A primarily software-focused announcement (like iBooks 2) fits the bill, as does something for an as-yet unnamed device, such as Apple TV.
Usually, Apple holds back its major press events to launch a new iteration of a major product (or a new product altogether). Last year, we mostly just saw big announcements at its major events: I was privy to the iPad 2 announcement and a big announcement for iOS 5 at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference. The iPhone 4S announcement also springs to mind, but there aren’t many other instances that strayed from the given formula.
So the “strange” event, should one exist, may very well point to some new brand of software Apple is pushing, or some kind of new program. Apple is still coming off a recent PR blowout from a New York Times piece about the tribulations of overseas workers in Apple’s supply chain and how rough life can often be working at one of the plants that assembles Apple’s mobile devices or supplies components. Apple CEO Tim Cook just announced Apple had given some $100 million to charity. This is a stark difference from Steve Jobs, who once said he didn’t believe in giving away money. That announcement seemed calculated to help restore some good will to Apple, and a new event announcement could help do the same.
But in general, Apple isn’t in the habit of making more announcements than it absolutely has to, like in order to maintain the prestige of such events. I’m not sure what a “strange” Apple announcement might entail, but it’s hard to feel that, given the believed temporal proximity to the iPad 3 announcement, it seems doubtful that the company would again take the stage so soon. Better to leave an air of prestige and mystery and announce new products and services along with other products this spring.