So, that was a strange one.
I have to confess I didn’t see the full keynote until this morning, but I sat in a room with 70 other mac geeks last night and watched the “Let’s talk iPhone” event by proxy.
On a side note, apologies if you tuned into MacBreak Weekly to see what was happening in the LMUG pub. We managed to make a fleeting appearance on the show, but the network connectivity in the pub just wasn’t up to it, so we had to abandon the live feed from London to Petaluma.
So some random thoughts about the event and the announcements…
I was impressed with Tim Cook’s composure and delivery during the introduction. Imagine the kind of pressure the guy was under, with it being his first product launch, the eyes of the World’s press bearing down plus the not insignificant pressure of following in Steve Jobs footsteps. I think he did a great job. A little bit slow in places, but a great first official appearance as CEO.
However, I do feel that Apple really need to keep the introductions under control, as they are starting to become a little bit tiresome. Good numbers are always good to hear and I appreciate they need to relay them for press coverage but still!
I’m not sure the videos of store openings are doing them any favours either. Yes, it’s a fun time and excitement is high, but if I’m starting to feel they are a bit jarring, imagine how non-Apple fans and Apple haters are feeling. The over zealous, and slightly disturbing imagery, only panders to the irritating accusations of the Cult of Apple.
Tim did report some pretty spectacular numbers, as well as an impressive number of Keynote slides showing #1 slamming into the ground. Message received and understood.
As expected, iPods took a bit of a back seat, but Apple are still quite insistent that they are an important part of the business, especially in attracting new people to Apple products. The updated Nano looks quite neat and I would expect to see a metric ton more watch straps on the market soon!
Cards? Cards? Let’s pass on that one. Again, yes, I know the keynote is aimed at consumers but really?
No surprises with iOS5, but we knew that anyway – a great update with lots of new functionality.
iCloud also pretty much covered the same ground as in WWDC, but did I notice a slight change in the functionality of iTunes in the Cloud to now stream music to iOS devices?
But the main event was the announcement of the iPhone 4S.
Yep, the iPhone 4S
No, messing about, no lengthy lead in, just straight out with the new name.
What a shocker!
And then the realisation that it was the same form factor as the iPhone 4.
Immediately, I thought that iPhone 5 could possibly be the one more thing, but as the updated feature set emerged, it became obvious that this was it. Just one new iPhone and that was the iPhone 4S
There was no new form factor to be announced. The best Phone currently available, upgraded in virtually every aspect plus some new spectacular features, but no new form factor.
I won’t regurgitate the features as you’re probably well aware of them, but basically, pretty much everything we wanted or expected (with the exception of NFC and a bigger screen) all wrapped up in the same form factor as the iPhone 4.
Once all the information was available and I’d had time to process it, I felt that Apple had delivered the iPhone 5, they just didn’t go to the trouble and expense of repackaging the device in a new and shiny enclosure, or calling it the iPhone 5. And this is what seems to have upset most people.
The huge technical improvement in every area of the iPhone, in addition to the groundbreaking technology in Siri should have impressed, instead, much wailing and moaning ensued, with some pundits even labelling the event an Apple FAIL! Streuth.
Even so, I have to own up to saying that my initial reaction on the night was one of slight disappointment.
I put this down to one main reason. I wasn’t able to see the announcement in the form it was intended. Being drip fed information by live blogging just didn’t cut it. I fully appreciate just how difficult it is to live blog these events, and some did a great job on keeping us up to date on what was being announced, but by the very nature of the medium, the messages were somewhat diluted and in some cases disjointed.
If there was ever a announcement that needed to be live streamed, this was it!
After finally watching the announcements in full, I’m excited by the improvements contained in the iPhone 4S and I’m sure it will be even more successful that the iPhone 4 over time.
But my main take away from this event, is that Apple really need to go back to streaming the events live to manage the message. The negativity generated by the event will probably dissipate to a large extent, once the device is available, but why generate it in the first place.
Apple do themselves no favours and upset and offend the many legions of Mac fans by excluding them from such events.
And yes, of course I’ll be getting an iPhone 4S
Now about the iPad 3 and iPhone 5 next year…..