There was a time when an Apple event was something like a visit from Santa on Christmas. You had no idea what on earth was going to end up in your stocking. But you just knew that you would be surprised when you did put your hand into the old sock come Christmas morning! The same was the case with the fruity folk from Cupertino – the air used to thick with secrecy and conspiratorial whispers were the rule as the day of the event drew near. And in spite of all the speculation and rumor (and there was always plenty of that – hey, this was Apple), more often than not, the company coaxed out something that not too many had expected.
Well, that was a while ago. Of late, the company that prides itself on Thinking Different has continued to flourish but folks seem to have increased cottoned on to the difference in its thinking. The result: the surprises – the REAL surprises (hey, we are using capitals) – have been conspicuous by their absence at an Apple event for a while now. No, we are not going into the “this would not have happened in Steve’s time” debate. We are simply crossing our fingers for Apple to be, well, Apple, when WWDC gets underway in a few hours from now.
For, the rumor mills have literally milked the event dry well in advance. We have been told by sources that vary from the credible to the incredible that the event will see some or all of these:
New versions of iOS and OS X, new MacBooks, new MacBook Pros, new iPad Pros (maybe one with a 10.5 inch display), and some have even stuck their necks out for a new iPhone to mark ten years of GodPhonery (yeah, the first iPhone was released in July 2007 – been that long!). So much so that no matter what gets announced today, there is a goodish chance that someone somewhere would have nattered something about it.
And at the cost of sounding like an old fogey (which I surely am – check the general absence of hair and the general greyness of what remains), that’s a bit of a pity. Because Apple for many of us was the company that made tech events… well, events. An event by Apple generally meant stepping into the unknown, not really having any idea of what will hit you, not really knowing whether it will work, but definitely knowing that what you would see would unlike most things you had seen before. Fast forward to today, and it seems that the element of surprise and mystery has been usurped by – oh the irony – the folks at Redmond working in the Big M.
So, as we brace ourselves for WWDC 2017, I am not going to make a list of ten things that we expect from the event. Nay, the very fact that such a list can be made with a decent chance of it turning out right shows the pass to which things have come. I am instead going to borrow the words of food critic Anton Ego from the film Ratatouille. Asked what he wants to eat next, he tells the chef: “Surprise me!”
I am saying the same. To another (Tim) Cook.
Oh and one more thing. Or rather, one more word: