VAST amounts will be written. But actually, I have a simple set of conclusions:
- It puts Apple back into a tech leadership position with (arguably) the best phone on the market, etc, etc. In 6-9 months the other OEMs will catch up again, and there’ll be a window in which Samsung has arguable better hardware (as the S3 is arguable better than the iPhone 4S). Then the cycle continues.
- LTE on most frequencies that are important today, supporting EE, T-Mobile in Germany, Softbank, AT&T, Verizon and Sprint. But nothing new for China (probably too early for TD-LTE, though), and no support (yet) for the 800 and 2600 bands that most European operators are planning to deploy on. Next year, maybe. And nothing about DoCoMo.
- (Corrected) The CDMA model supports international LTE bands, but the US (AT&T) GSM model does not, and the non-US GSM model doesn’t support the LTE bands that have been built in the USA. So Verizon, Sprint and KDDI subs may be able to roam abroad, but AT&T users can’t and Europeans can’t roam in the USA just yet.
- No NFC or anything new from a strategic perspective. Old models dropped in price as before.
(Details of iPhone LTE bands here)
Effectively, Apple is maintaining the status quo: it has probably the best phone on the market but also the most expensive, and it will continue selling in large numbers at high prices while Android sells in far higher numbers at much lower prices to quite different customers, converting Nokia, RIM and featurephone users to sub-$200 smartphones.
NFC… well, Apple could technically have done LTE last year, but really didn’t need to and so waited until it was ready. Same for NFC this year, perhaps.
Also, no iPad Mini, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t one - Apple may want a dedicated event. This would have to be soon to meet a Christmas selling season though.