I am and have been an Apple user for some time now. I won’t say how long, but I can say it was long enough to have a Pavlovian kind of reaction every time Apple rings the bell and has us expecting the next cool and awesome thing they surely came up with.
That is why I guess I can say I have mixed feelings now, and not for the first time. One of the things we all liked about Job’s return to Apple was how he changed it, how he decided Apple had to become a Company that thought “what’s next” even before releasing their last invention. I remember when the iPod came to life and how Sony couldn’t predict the end of an era for their walkmans. I also remember when the first iPad came out and the “I am going to be like Mr. Spock!!” feeling I had when I bought that first, heavy and bulky but so cool model.
The trend was not to update and replace but to innovate and displace. Apple didn’t compete against others, it competed against itself. Who but them would have predicted they would become a mobile phone manufacturer and transform the industry, or change the way we listen to and consume music forever? What other Company would have set the foundations for the “app world”, or the consumerization of apps? I guess at one point we could say Apple was driven by the unique will of Jobs yet he was not alone. The whole Company believed in it’s mission and it was reflected in their products, in their releases and in the huge game changers that signified the rebirth of the 21st century Company we know them for.
Then I remember how there was mild to little change in everything Apple made since 2011 (but for the Apple Watch) and I see a new trend: keep the business growing, replace instead of upgrade. I can’t say it’s a bad statement or mission for a consumer goods Company yet I was under the impression that above everything, Apple was more than that: it was the Company were working for was cool because “can you imagine what they will come up with next??”. It was all about innovation and disruption, or so it felt from the outside.
I watched most of the event today on Safari, on my Macbook Air. I couldn’t finish it watching because I just lost interest. It was just another show on updates, refreshers and some cool stuff, most of it coming from third parties like, ironically Microsoft and Adobe. I did like a few things, and others I just couldn’t believe they would pose as “Apple TM”. Here are just 1 Yea and Nay for each product I saw today.
YEA! iPhone upgrade program. Still not sure how it will work but definitely the first time in a long time Apple shows they care about their users.
NAY! Nothing really new. Just another installment of their most sold iPhone. Faster of course, better cam and all, but nothing really new other than software upgrades, a smarter Siri and an expected “3d Touch”.
YEA! New remote control. FINALLY! Much expected, easy to use and with added functionality. Siri button is a plus. Cool integrated interface and price still great.
NAY! Gaming. Nothing impressive, at one point it felt they were just copying the very first interfaces of the acclaimed Nintendo Wii chunky games.
YEA! Way faster than all it’s predecessors and finally a pencil! New chip (expected though) and new apps. Everything showcased was impressive though again, most apps are third party. Apple Pencil looks promising if it’s as accurate as they said it is.
NAY! Too big, too pricey. 12.9 inches? As heavy and bigger than the first iPad, plus *new* Apple Pencil, plus new case+keyboard nearing 900 USD? Would have been cheaper to make the screen on my MBA multi-touch.
YEA! Apple pay on your wrist. Can’t say it’s that much about the watch per se, but they are the first one to integrate a payment gateway and platform in your wrist. Nice!
NAY! Still chunky, and no major updates. Not the first smart watch out there and honestly, still not the best. Cool of course considering it still feels like just a cool iPod…for your wrist.
Tim didn’t impress me, as Apple’s product didn’t impress me either today but I will say this: Steve Jobs didn’t impress me either right after his return to Apple. It took me some time to warm-up to Steve, the genius, the bi-polar, the guy that changed the way we engage the world through Apple’s fantastic devices.
I still feel like those dogs Pavlov experimented with, and still want to believe Apple can do it again. I will still use its products because I love them…”but”. It sounds like an omen and it has for some time. Apple’s been through this before and it can still recover.