It is really weird that Apple’s announcements are always called keynotes. I remembered times when a keynote meant the most important speech that always underscores the theme of an event. It is supposed to precede an event. Apple’s Special September Event is just that– an event where the only thing happening was the keynote.
Now, there are sports fan who stay up late just to catch their favourite teams playing live on TV. I stay up late to watch Apple’s keynotes live on Apple TV.
Yes, I’m a fanboy. And yes, I’ve been mesmerised by the salesmanship of Steve Jobs who can single handedly convince you that he had created the greatest inventions since sliced bread (gluten-free, of course).
iPod– “Better than the music it plays!”
iPhone– “This baby can do everything!“(except making and receiving calls properly, which was discovered much to the chagrin of most people later on a couple of occasions)
iPad– “If God had this, Moses would have carried down the Ten Commandments on it from Mount Sinai!“
Have you even seen how the other tech companies do their conferences? They have the same swirling things on screen but they just feel…different. The energy is lacking. The passion is hardly felt. There are no “oohs” or “ahhs” coming from the audience. No one is holding on to their collective breaths in anticipating “one more thing” like how they would from a Steve Jobs’ presentation.
Jobs is no longer here. But judging from Tim Cook’s performance so far, he is fitting in quite well into Job’s shoes (or lack of).
This is why Apple wins.
Apple has created such a hype machine that they could be announcing Microsoft Project 2017 and they would make you believe that it is the singular answer to global warming.
What makes this brand so loved and so followed that they can almost claim anything ridiculous and yet sound so convincing?
Take for example the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.
It is merely an iPhone running on bigger screens which has been the norm in the Android world. This is clearly a “me-too” product. But the way they presented the product (chamfered edges are out, rounded are back!) and explained the features (look, it’s large enough that you can now have one more row of icons, isn’t it amazing!) is so compelling that you can’t help but to get sucked into their sphere of reality distortion.
By the end of it, you will come to the realisation the reason why your life is so screwed up is not because you had mounting credit card debts from your last Apple purchases but it is purely because you do not have the iPhone 6 (or iPhone 6 Plus, depending on how much overcompensating you have to do for your lack of, er, manhood)
I have a theory on why they are so good.
They are good because the other companies are so bad. It’s true when you think about it. Apple’s management team sells dreams so effortlessly and so well. They are truly remarkable story tellers. They are top-notch entertainers who are cunningly playing to the galley of their admiring hordes. In fact, they are like the World Wrestling Entertainment of business. You know it is fiction but you watch it for the “sportsmanship”. Heels turn to good guys when the script demands it (like how big screen phones which was demonised by them to no end suddenly become “Bigger than Bigger”).
Contrast this with the uninspiring speeches from the other chief execs of Microsoft, Sony and (everyone’s favourite whipping boy) Samsung. I watch the keynote of Samung Galaxy S5 to fall asleep without the aid of Valium. As for Google, geek is not cool (trust me, I tried this and the number of girls being impressed by this is <1).
There, I’ve ranted.
Now, where can I line up for that incredibly sexy Apple Watch?