Addendum: I thought about this a bit more, and while I still agree with my original sentiments, I figured I’d expand my thinking slightly. But, yes, I think the event was 100% “this could have been an email” territory.

The iPhone and Apple Watch incremental updates absolutely should have been a Newsroom press release.
Sending out announcements and building up expectations only to not deliver to those expectations erodes the positive sentiment people have generated towards Apple announcement events. If you do that too many times, nobody will take them seriously anymore.

The carbon neutral achievements are impressive, but they would have been better utilized in an ad campaign.
Average consumers don’t watch these keynotes. Sure, they get trickle-down information of what Apple released eventually, but you know what people do pay attention to? Apple ads. They have a very distinct style and are (almost) always effective at communicating the benefits of Apple product releases. If anything, having an ad campaign that Apple have revamped the materials of most of their accessories is compelling to get people into stores simple to see (and more importantly) touch the new materials.

Today’s Apple event might have been the first time I didn’t actively watch or follow the updates. When I went back to check what had been announced, I saw that there was nothing of particular significance. This felt like such a non-event that it made me genuinely wonder what these teams have been doing for an entire year.

Perhaps the iPhone is soon reaching the same point MacBook Pros did a few years ago, where a complete overhaul saved the line from being the joke had it become.