Apple’s Wonderlust has been and gone – let’s take a little look back at it shall we?
This week all the eyes around the world have been on Apple.
We have been looking at Apple waiting to see what they were going to deliver with iPhone 15 and the Wonderlust event in general.
We all knew what was coming and there didn’t seem to be that much to get excited about, but I wanted to be excited. I’ve been an Apple fan for years and years and years. I’ve owned more Macs & iPhones than I’d care to remember. I’ve invested in the Apple ecosystem, into the Apple world, and I want them to do what they do best.
I want them to be creative. I want them to deliver the products that I know they’re capable of – and also with that level of excitement that we know they’re capable of. But just recently, it all seems to have fallen a little bit flat.
Apple is the master of PR – their campaigns are amazing and the adverts are stunning. As for the events now, they’re just gorgeous. The production, the lighting, the transitions – they’re like a mini-movie – they could almost be a series on Apple TV themselves.
Yet beautiful as they are, they’re just lacking something. I’ll get on to this particular event a little bit later on, but maybe part of the reason that I felt flat and maybe you felt flat as well running up to the event was because we know so much in advance.
And we are partly to blame.
Are we to blame?
Our thirst and lust craving to find out any little nuggets of news about Apple and the latest devices that are coming up have led to this massive ecosystem of content creators who fill their pages, videos or blogs with leaks. And because of that, we know maybe a year in advance in some instances, and certainly in the months and weeks leading up to any big event, pretty much everything that we need to know about these new products.
Or do we?
These leaker videos are massively popular and are watched by many, many hundreds of thousands of people, so there is clearly a demand for them. But are they as good as we make them out to be – or is Apple just always one step ahead?
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The leakers like to think they’re getting golden nuggets of information that nobody else knows, yet in all honesty, Apple is leading the dance. To prove my point, let’s go back just one year to the iPhone 14 event. None of the leakers, not one of them knew anything about Dynamic Island – Apple kept that under lock and key.
Earlier this year, Apple did it all over again – this time with Apple Vision Pro. Imagine how many people were involved with that project over the 10 or 15 years it was in development, and yet there were no leaks. None of the big Apple channels out there even got the name right – we knew nothing about it. We didn’t know the name and we certainly didn’t know what it looked like. We had a little bit of an idea about functionality and that was it. Apple drips out just information to keep its profile high – but they are in control at all times.
What the leakers would have you believe are gems they’ve discovered are stories that Apple wanted to be out there – remember they are masters of PR. It’s a win-win for Apple – it’s free publicity – and lots of it!
The day before this Wonderlust event, Sam Kohl of Appletrack put up a video stating that we would definitely be getting a periscope lens – hmmm – that didn’t pan out too well, did it? I’m not singling out Sam – I like and respect him and had him on my podcast last year. They are all as bad as one another Jon Prosser, Brian Tong, iJustine and even the best of them all Mark Gurman – they all got key facts wrong that they would have had you believe were cast in stone.
Apple wins again!
All they had to do was drip out a little bit of information about a better zoom lens – sit back and let the rumours spread like wildfire. Can you imagine the smile on their faces in Cupertino?
Now, when it comes to the iPhone, that’s much harder to control. During the summer, Apple sends out CAD files to case manufacturers to make sure there is enough supply of cases to meet demand come September.
From these files the case manufacturers make dummies, and it is those dummies we end up seeing in videos. But make no mistake, as well-oiled as Apple is, if they didn’t figure that even with the leaks it made sense for them to send the CADS out in the first place, knowing what would end up happening, then they would have stopped it years back – the theme here – Apple is always in control.
It’s on its way!
I love Apple – I really do, I’m only writing this story today because I like what they make and represent so much – I just want the best out of them.
If any further proof is needed, I’ve just ordered the new iPhone 15 Pro Max. I like the gear. but this event was odd. The opening sequence went on too long and it was highly self-congratulatory. It was a 6 minute pat on the back.
My takeaway from it was that if you’re rich enough an Apple product can save your life!
The pace seemed off at this event too. That first half hour was taken up with a very odd sketch with Octavia Spencer and an awkward-looking Tim Cook. It was another slap on the back and it was a bit of a car crash when it was suddenly dropped in mid-event – very odd. I understand the premise was about how well they are doing with their environmental pledges – but there could have been easier ways to bang that drum – a drum they beat a little too often through the event anyway if you ask me!
In that first 30 minutes, Apple had only mentioned one device – the Apple Watch Series 9. They mentioned a ‘new’ pinch feature – but that has actually been on your Apple Watch for ages under the Accessibility settings anyway.
After 40 we finally got to the iPhone 15 & 15 Plus – and the first utterance of those four letters – USB-C!
The timing was everything. They came out USB-C a little bit earlier than they had to because had they waited until the last moment, then it would have looked like their hand was forced. This way though, it appeared as if it was their choice. And as we were reminded ‘USB-C has been on Apple devices for ages.’ And the new port on the case of AirPods Pro 2 was barely even mentioned – it was just a throwaway filler in among all the other iPhone 15 news.
We had wondered how they’d dance around USB-C – and now we know.
The iPhone 15 and 15 Plus look good phones but are sort of slimmed down iPhone 14 Pros – they are almost repurposed from this year’s current Pro lineup – just without the zoom lens and a 120Hz display
Apple – always in control
There were three main areas that the leakers got it wildly wrong this year – and that was the periscope lens that never was, the name of the chip being A17 Pro and the port on the pro phones not being a Thunderbolt port.
And no one mentioned that you’d now be able to record directly from your iPhone to an external drive. That for me was one of the highlights and I can’t wait to try it out. That was Apple at their innovative best.
Nothing will convince me that Apple was not in total control of what information we got running up to this event. There was always just enough to keep us interested, but not quite enough to ruin the party.
I’d written earlier this week that I’d hoped for something really exciting to come out of the event. The recording direct to SSD was brilliant, but that was it – no super-quick charging or reverse charging or any other rule-book-breaking developments. The various focal lengths on the cameras sound interesting and confusing in equal measure – that will be something else I’ll be looking forward to trying out when my 15 Pro Max arrives.
It can’t always be Christmas
Not every event can be as ground-breaking and as packed as WWDC and the release of Apple Vision Pro. That kind of device only comes around very rarely – I get that, but that is not the yardstick by which I am measuring this latest event.
I just feel that at Wonderlust they lost their way a bit – they need someone to rein them back in. They need someone to inject a breath of fresh air into these events. Possibly part of the problem is the recorded events are too anodyne.
Look, I admire perfection and try my hardest to strive for it, but these events now, are almost too perfect. Possibly it’s time for these events to be live again to bring back the edge that only a live performance can deliver.
Apple not only know how to imagine, create and develop brilliant products, but they have always known how to deliver them as well. At this last event, it all went a little bit wrong.
You know what they say – a change is as good a rest. Maybe the time has come to shake things up a bit. Learn from your mistakes Apple and listen top the voices.
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