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– This is the script of CNBC's news report for China's CCTV on September 8, Thursday.
After previews largely panned Apple's new lineup, industry watchers seemed slightly relieved when the proverbial band-aid was ripped off and the iPhone 7 and Apple Watch Series 2 were revealed.
"The pundits were wrong," said Patrick Moorhead, founder at Moor Insights & Strategy. " [The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus] was a major upgrade, not a minor one with every major subsystem improved."
The company announced a new line-up that was in line with expectations, including a 32GB iPhone 7 with wireless AirPods for $649, and a new Apple Watch Series. The new iPhone also has longer battery life, and a massively upgraded dual-lens camera.
Expectations were gloomy for the products going into the event, which some worried wouldn't keep pace with Apple's innovative reputation.
But the iPhone 7 did enough to attract some Android users, Moorhead said. He said the faster Apple Watch, too, might silence some critics.
"While iPhone 7 has no 'major game changers,' it looks like a solid upgrade which could turn the tide after the softness seen from the 6s cycle," said Daniel Ives, senior vice president of finance and corporate development at Synchronoss Technologies.
A move like ditching the headphone jack may be a small step change for Apple, but branding expert Dean Crutchfield, founder of Dean Crutchfield Associates, said it might actually say a lot about the company's image.
Shares of the tech company traded up half a percent on Wednesday - a tepid move, but in the green. Over the past 10 iPhone announcements - going back to Steve Jobs' introduction of the first iPhone on Jan. 9, 2007 - on the day of the big reveal, Apple ends the day negative 80 percent of the time, data from Kensho's Bhavesh Dayalji and CNBC's quantitative analysis team show.
Managing expectations has helped Apple in more ways than one on Wall Street this year. The company managed to beat dismal earnings expectations in the third quarter, raising its share price despite reporting falling year-over-year revenue and iPhone sales.
However, Apple is facing some troubles as well.
The European Commission says Apple owes the Irish Republic 13bn euros. The country's government - and a majority of the population - disagree.
[Enda Kenny, Ireland PM] "we've made it perfectly clear the European Union treaties specifically states that tax is a matter of competence for each country. In our view, the finding by the European Commission interferes with the good name of this country and others. That it creates uncertainty for investors from abroad, and as has been pointed out, it is not a good signal."
Ireland, where corporation tax is 12.5 percent, has built a reputation as a tax haven over many years, but this has become particularly controversial in the post-credit crisis world, after its bailout by the European Union, and amid growing international scrutiny of multinational companies' tax affairs.
CNBC's Qian Chen, reporting from Singapore.