Have you been around the Applesphere long enough to remember the famous ‘One More Thing...’ that was the highlight of many product keynote presentations? Oh, how I miss those. Apple back in those days was mysterious, not predictable. That was Steve Jobs.
Today’s Apple is run by Tim Cook, a decidedly more mainstream executive, who makes sure the trains run on time. Apple’s supply chain management and manufacturing is considered best of breed. But the mystery that shrouded Apple for decades is fading away, if not gone completely. Today’s Apple has become mostly predictable.
Here’s a perfect example. Not that far back in the day we learned about new versions of OS X and even iOS, but in fits and starts, with a few leaks here and there– but the big news of what was new became news when new products were released. That, and ‘one more thing‘, was the way it was. Today is different. Much different. Today we have preview releases of nearly everything substantial. I’m decidedly a non-geek Apple customer but managed to put macOS Sierra on an aging MacBook ready for hand-me-down status, and get iOS 10 running on a three-year-old iPhone that had yet to get shipped off to Gazelle.
If I had an extra Watch I could try out watchOS 3.0. Maybe next year. The point here is striking. Apple has killed Apple’s mystery with all these preview releases to the public. Not only can we read the rumor rags about what’s coming down Apple’s product pipeline, we can read about the latest operating system changes months ahead of time, and read about changes Apple makes to the preview releases, and then experience them ourselves with public releases.
Where’s the mystery? Apple killed it with all these preview releases, and executives granting interviews all over the interwebs. True, we don’t know all the details to every R&D dollar Apple spends– Apple Car is a good example– and that stands in stark contrast to Google, the blabbermouth advertising company posing as a technology company that releases all kinds of beta products but hasn’t figured out how to ship a piece of hardware. Buying Nest from a former Apple employee didn’t help Google, either. The only thing they’ve shipped recently are executives out the door.
For me, the jury is still out as to whether I appreciate Tim Cook’s new and open and friendly faced Apple, but certainly I miss Steve Jobs’ ‘one more thing…’ moments, and the surprise details– like early 2007 when everyone knew Apple was working on a smartphone, but still got hit with surprise when the iPhone was announced.
Today we know WWDC occurs in late spring and Apple announces details on macOS, iOS, watchOS, and now tvOS. In late summer Apple will launch the newest iPhones. In the fall, we’ll get new Macs. The only real surprises these days are what color new products will be.
That’s just not enough mystery because such tidbits get leaked anyway.