iPhone5c_34L_AllColors_PRINT copyIf there’s one word that could best be used to describe today’s iPhone announcement, it’s “unsurprising.” New iPhones are coming in 10 days, iOS is coming out in a little over a week, and the only thing that engaged observers couldn’t see coming was iWork going free.

While Apple hasn’t done anything hugely unexpected, what can we pull out of today’s announcement?

First and foremost, I seriously doubt Apple will be able to keep any hardware built in China under wraps from here on out. The leak pipeline leading out of the company’s Chinese hardware suppliers would seem to be wide open. If Apple wants to keep a piece of hardware secret, like a potential iWatch, that will need to stay out of the manufacturing pipeline until after the announcement.

[Related: Nokia pokes fun at Apple’s colorful new iPhone 5C line, says ‘imitation is the best form of flattery’]

That said, there were still plenty of revelations in today’s presentation, mostly tied to how Apple’s new hardware integrates with software.

Second, Apple isn’t going to sit idly by while Microsoft flounders. While Microsoft wants to try and drive adoption of the Surface by restricting Office on tablets to their own slate, Apple’s move to make iWork free is a shot across Microsoft’s bow. While it isn’t the industry standard, Apple has solid products in Pages, Keynote, and Numbers. I’ve been using iWork instead of Office for the past 5 years, and I feel like I really haven’t been missing anything.

There are still a lot of key questions that remain: is the iPhone 5C the low-cost iPhone everyone is looking for? Is the 5S enough of an update to drive sales of new phones? Will Android continue to pull market share away from Apple? We won’t know those answers today, tomorrow, or next week. But over time, they’ll play a big part in determining Apple’s fate.

Previously on GeekWire:

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  • Guest

    Apple has already lost market share, cachet, and attention. With timcook at the helm saying things like “Hay doods, lets make a blue iPhone!!!” we can assume the company will stagnate for about 12 more years until he retires.

    Even my good Apple-loving friend who was so cocksure about iTV coming “soon” came to me yday. “They’re fucked,” she said. “I’ve been staring at at the fucking wall for 3 fucking years waiting for them to come out with a fucking television and they didn’t. They DIDN’T!!!” By the end of the night I was giving her milk of the poppy to quell her pain.

  • Guest

    This article reads like something I’d find on MacWorld, not GW. The biggest takeaway from this announcement is that Apple has not only now lost its market share leadership to Android, it’s not even going to try and regain it by offering a competitively priced device for the mainstream worldwide buyer.

  • Joe McGrath

    Any journalist who states they have found an alternative to Office based on their own personal use has no clue what they are talking about. Office’s primary two applications in the business world are Excel and Access. iWork is horrendous in this area. It isn’t even a real debate.

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