Apple made several announcements last week, including new iPhones, iPads, and an Apple TV. In the process, they revealed a number of small decisions they've made but decisions that I find telling about their product lines and thinking.
Want a gold iPhone? You have to get the 6s
The iPhone 5s, 6, and 6 Plus are still being sold by Apple, but only in space gray and silver, even though they were previously available in gold. The newly announced 6s and 6s Plus are available in four colors - gold, rose gold, space gray, and silver.
The gold color options has been quite popular in my group of friends, and this decision seems like a move to push people towards the newest models.
Apple Watch Sport available in new colors
Meanwhile, the entry-level Apple Watch Sport is now available in gold and rose gold aluminum colors. This could be interpreted as a way to spur lackluster sales. Typically, Apple works hard to maintain or even raise the average selling prices of its products, not give customers a reason to buy a lower-priced product. Obviously, very few people are going to purchase a solid gold Apple Watch, but it is interesting that Apple is expanding options at the bottom of the product line, not in the middle - especially given that the mid-tier product is simply referred to as 'Apple Watch'.
However, these color options must have been in the works for months, long before Apple had much/any Watch sales data. Perhaps there were several options for product line expansion on the drawing board and this one was accelerated, for whatever reason.
Siri features for Apple TV, but what about iOS?
The new Apple TV will support Siri, with some specific features related to finding movies and TV shows, including universal search (if search across a handful of apps can be considered universal). Two weeks ago Adobe released a report claiming almost 62% of pay TV is streamed on Apple devices, most of it on iPhones and iPads. Why wouldn't Apple bring these new Apple TV features to their other devices, making it easier for users to find what they want to watch, regardless of what device they happen to be using?
The new Apple TV has a ton of gaming features, but no dedicated controller
As expected, Apple spent a lot of time on gaming features for the new Apple TV during its announcement. However, a bundled gaming controller (other than the included remote) was not among the announcements (but 3rd party options will be supported). This seems strange to me. Either Apple is serious about gaming on the Apple TV, but only with the remote - or they aren't serious about gaming.
A specific, dedicated input method is key to any game - be it the Playstation or Xbox controller, Wii remote, PC keyboard and mouse, or smartphone touchscreen. The game developer must know what input method they're developing for, and optimize around it. The developer also has to consider how large the market is for a game with a specific controller. The market for a Guitar Hero game is much smaller than the market for a game relying on the system's included controller.
Perhaps Apple designed the remote specifically for gaming and that will be the target for developers. Either way, there likely won't be a big market for games requiring a dedicated controller - at least in the absence of a must-play game.