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What the Tech: Have Apple Events gone mouldy?

Apple Events have become frequent, predictable, and dare we say it, a bit boring. What happened to the brand that became famous for that tantalising “one more thing…”?

Danny Boyle’s movie ‘Steve Jobs’ takes a unique approach to an often staid genre, the biopic. It is structured around several Apple Events that were key to the life and career of its subject; the dramatic intrigue occurs in the wings just before the lights go down and Jobs walks on stage, and then we jump forward in time to the next one. The events themselves are so iconic that they are not recreated on screen; we know that the Mac will say “Hello” in 1984, just as we know that man landed on the moon in 1969.

So it’s a little sad that Apple Events have become what they have. Just this year, we’ve had WWDC in June, followed by separate events in September, October, and November. Not quite the fabled Apple a day that keeps the doctor away – rather Apple a month, which is still enough to leave even enthusiastic techies feeling a little jaded.

Contributing to that sense of ennui are the changes made necessary by the Covid pandemic. No longer do we have packed auditoriums with gasping superfans, but instead we have highly produced video presentations.

But even more concerning is that the few flashes of excitement that have come from the recent event – namely, the eye-popping performance specs, since no Apple products have appreciably changed in terms visual design this year – are misleading.

Image Credit: Apple / PC World

Apple boldly claimed that the new MacBook Pro was “faster than 98% of PC laptops”. But when PC World looked into the footnotes, they found that Apple had not referenced which tests it was basing this claim on, nor its source for these comparable laptops.

Furthermore, this claim was also repeated in reference to the new MacBook Air. But the small print confessed that the quoted performance specifications applied only to the MacBook Pro, which is of course expected to deliver greater performance than its counterpart, especially as it has a fan cooling system.

In a world increasingly beset by fake news and unscrupulous media manipulators, it’s a true shame to see even spec-happy tech manufacturers unashamedly jumping on the bandwagon.

Apple still makes some fantastic products, and boasts a very loyal following. But to increase its appeal, perhaps the brand should consider spreading its launches over a longer cycle, adding more pizzazz to their once-celebrated events, being a little bolder rather than merely relying on incremental updates – and most importantly, by being more transparent with customers.

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