What Apple Didn't Announce At This Week's iPad Air Event

Apple packed a lot of products into its keynote announcement today. The iPad has a new name, the new MacBook Pro has Intel’s latest processor, the Mac Pro mammoth of a desktop is finally ready and all of Apple’s apps are now free, including the new Mac OS X Mavericks. Apple has set itself up nicely for the holiday shopping season with multiple iPhone, iPad and laptop options.

But here's what Apple didn’t announce today—i.e., what the rumors got wrong.

Smart Covers For The iPad

Apple took a lot of passive aggressive shots at its competitors in the keynote announcement. Both Google’s Android and Microsoft’s Windows 8 got some sniping from Apple’s executives like CEO Tim Cook and SVP of worldwide marketing Phil Schiller. Yet for all of Apple’s jabbering on stage, one key differentiator for the iPad went missing: The supposed “smart covers.” 

Apple’s invite to the event stated, “we have a lot left to cover.” Apparently that wasn't a hidden allusion to anything other than the fact that the company announced a slew of new products.

A former Apple employee wrote on his personal blog that Apple has been testing and prototyping smart covers for the iPad that would include keyboards and Bluetooth connections. But if the new covers do in fact exist, they were nowhere to be seen today. Sure, Cook briefly touted new covers for the iPad Air and iPad mini at the very end of the announcement, at the same price as their predecessors.

Many people figured that Apple would attempt to make a smart keyboard case to battle the ones Microsoft created for its Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 tablets. But Apple didn't take the bait, and will continue to rely on its third-party vendors like Logitech to build Bluetooth keyboards for the iPad. 

Touch ID

Apple made a gold iPhone with the iPhone 5S. And in many ways, the new iPads follow in the footsteps of the 5S. The iPad Air and the iPad mini both got Apple’s new A7 64-bit computer processor, iOS 7 and the M7 motion processor. 

But the fingerprint sensor that Apple placed in the iPhone 5S is nowhere to be found in the new iPads.

Where Is The Bling?

Some people also thought Apple would unveil a “gold” iPad this time around, just like the iPhone 5S. Well, there is no gold iPad as the Air and Mini will come in two color themes: silver-and-white and space-gray-and-black.

Apple TV AWOL Again

For the second straight product announcement, Apple TV went missing from the keynote presentation. Apple has released three generations of Apple TV so far, along with several updates to its software. It's been about two years since rumors of Apple's next big foray into the television space began to percolate (in the form of the much-yammered-about "iTV"). We're still wondering what, if anything, Cupertino has planned here.

No iWatch For Christmas

The rumor of an “iWatch” probably won’t die until Apple officially unveils its first wearable computer. That day, alas, was not today. Not only did Apple not announce a smartwatch today, its executives failed to mention the wearable market in any way, shape or form. (You could say exactly the same thing about the TV market.)

At this point, the earliest we might see an iWatch would be in the spring of 2014. But I wouldn't count on it.