August 08, 2007

Attention Newbies: Not All Apple News Changes the World

Following Apple's media frenzy around the iPhone, and the company's continued market successes, the bloggers swarmed onto Cupertino with unprecedented vigor today, as Steve Jobs offered up a bevy of new product introductions, including a new line of iMacs and revamped iLife and iWork suites. And while on the Steve Jobs meter, the announcements were fairly ho-hum, the blogosphere was set ablaze with dozens of sites, ranging from Engadget to MacRumors to Robert Scoble and Om Malik, trying to liveblog the proceedings.

The event presented a unique intersection of an incredibly successful, yet secretive, enigma of a company more broadly opening its doors to A-list bloggers than ever before. While just a few years ago, those of us in the Mac community remember much complaining around some sites being tagged as "rumor" sites or denied press credentials, today's event had bloggers like Scoble sitting in the first few rows, capturing Jobs' every word. And there's no question that sites like Engadget and others who were there would be all too happy to pass along rumors they found reputable.

With such significant focus and the highest level of transparency, you'd think the grounds were prepped for Jobs to surprise us all with something radically unexpected, like a second generation iPhone, the release of Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, or Mac OS X for generic Windows boxes. Instead, what we got was 30 minutes of demoing iPhoto, tweaks to GarageBand, iWeb and iMovie, and a long-overdue capacity increase for the company's .Mac Web offerings. Enough "special events" like that, and the bloggers will just phone in their story.

Don't get me wrong. When I got home, I watched Jobs' presentation in full, and was impressed with some of the software demos. But this wasn't even a B on the high-rated Jobsian curve. Those of us who have followed every presentation by Jobs at all the MacWorlds and all the WWDC's and all the special events past know that on some occasions, the rumors will far outstrip the news, and Jobs' "one more thing" won't rock the world. So... we got a flat keyboard. So what?

For those bloggers who got all ecstatic because they were finally let in behind the velvet rope to see a Stevenote, I expect their feeling of novelty could turn to one of entitlement, and once they've gained a good level of cynicism, they won't be doting over "Skimming" in iPhoto or the fact the new iMacs look like the iPhone. Instead, they'll realize even Jobs can't hit a home run every time at bat.


  1. Beautifully written post, Louis. I couldn't agree more.

    The iMac is pretty tasty, but other than that, bleh... I turned off quicktime after skimming through bits and pieces of iLife demos...

    I purchased more Apple stock today, the event didn't affect the price at all =p

  2. Looks like a solid upgrade for the iMac, iWork, and iLife.