Uneducated Thoughts on the 2010 WWDC Jobsnote

Uneducated Thoughts on the 2010 WWDC Jobsnote

Jun 08

The new phone feels more like an evolution than a revolution. This did not stop Jobs from continually positioning it as a “revolutionary” device. I’m starting to understand where this “reality distortion field” comes from.

I think the positioning of the phone was impacted by the Gizmodo leak. Without that leak, Jobs gets a big gasp and applause from the mere visual introduction of the new form factor and look. Since that was already widely seen and known beforehand, he had to lean harder on the feature set to get the kind of reaction he wants from a Jobsnote–excitement, making way for keen interest, bursting into unadulterated awe, all from the Apple acolytes.

This phone will probably be successful, but I don’t know if it’s exciting enough to impact general consumers in a significant way. If you’re going to buy an iPhone anyway, or thinking about it, it’s a no-brainer. It will impact a lot of fence-sitters. It will probably push those holding out for some kind of Verizon iPhone to just grit their teeth and suck up AT&T’s crappy service. But it’s not the kind of device that makes Joe Wifi drop his Droid in the trash and run out to the nearest Apple store.

Part of that is because I think the reality of the front-facing camera right now and the Facetime app is nowhere near the fantasy that Apple depicts in its new commercial. Unless you and all your loved ones near and far will be there on June 24 to buy the new device, you won’t have anyone with which to schedule time to view your face. The API is open so it’s a safe bet that before the end of this year, there will be a third-party app that brings the front camera to older iPhones, or the web. Until then, your face will be lonely.

That being said, I kinda want one.

I’m starting to wonder about whether Apple should tweak its product refresh cycle. I had no expectations of any big iPad news yesterday, but you know there’s gonna be a new one, and with the tablet market heating up, I’m betting it’ll be out within a year.

But when? If you release it a year from the iPad announcement, you get late January. To me that’s not an appealing time for any kind of product refresh. There’s nothing to hook it onto. Then again, I don’t think there’s anything in particular to hook the iPhone’s traditional June refresh onto.

It might make sense to refresh the iPods and iPads at the same fall event, or to push the iPad refresh to like August, to maybe grab some back-to-school business…which could push the iPhone refresh up to like March, maybe in conjunction with an iOS refresh.

That begs the question of whether there will be another new iPad before the end of this year, maybe incorporating some of the tech we saw in iPhone 4–the retina display, cameras, possibly even a new form factor. That would goose the iPad for the holidays, and maybe lower the low-end price point on the older version, making it a more appealing gift. Unlikely, but the slim possibility is fascinating.

As you may already know, I want an iPad too.

Consumerism as an interactive spectator sport is fun. In a blowhard kinda way.

4 comments

  1. Jeff

    I am really getting sick of Jobsnotes. I like Apple, but I’m not monogamous to them. I own an iPod Touch and love it. If it was available on Verizon, I’d use an iPhone over a Droid in a heartbeat. But at the same time, I’ve not made a purchase in iTunes in over a year, not when I can pay less (or the same amount) to get the same thing on Amazon without DRM.

    Everybody knew this announcement was coming. The ooh and ahh features are things that other Phone OS’s have been doing for years (and yes, I know that Apple is more of an innovator in user experience than a trailblazer – it’s one of the things I appreciate most about Apple products, but acting like multitasking has just changed the game completely is fatuous).

    I’m also really sick of One More Thing. They’ve been consistent letdowns for the past year or two. FaceTime is like the appendix of this version of the iPhone – it doesn’t need to be there, it doesn’t add anything that anybody needs on a cellphone, and it only works over wifi. A nice perk for people who work out of Starbucks or who fly a lot, but it smacks of ‘we’re doing this because we can’ instead of being a real, useful addition. That’s NOT what I got used to from One More Thing announcements.

    The Jobsnote felt incredibly empty this year. There is a substantial rumor mill spinning about non-phone related projects at Apple. I’d like to see those things start to get addressed. Why did they shut down Lala a week before WWDC? There’s clearly a cloud-hosted iTunes service coming, but when and what are the details? That’s a huger deal than the new phone, I think. Like you, I want the next iteration of the iPad or at least a hint about it. All we got out of this presentation was some news we already knew and an antagonistic freakout about bloggers using too much bandwidth.

  2. Jason

    As a guys who’s stuck with T-Mobile at least until Christmas, I really want an iPhone, but this new announcement didn’t make me want one any more than I already did. Yes, the higher-resolution screen is pretty, but I’m not going to be watching a lot of movies on it, that’s why I have a big TV. And Facetime? NO. I consider myself to be rather hideous and really, calling in sick to work is that much more difficult if they can see the Cubs jersey and beer in my hand. None of what Jobs said or did made me less wary of moving over to AT&T’s rather lax service (and his service cutting out in the middle of the presentation was rather amusing).

    Regardless, what I really want is an iPad, but the one factor that will push me into buying one probably won’t be affected, the price. I would love to see them announce some updates to it, and it would make sense to do it before Christmastime, though I do think that back-to-school season would be a good plan as well, as the iPad looks to be the perfect tool for college students.

  3. Matt

    Jeff–I wasn’t quite as disappointed (and bitter?) as you–whether Apple admits it or not, there’s an element of circus about their big pony shows, and it’s not a place for honesty. Hell, Apple’s whole bag is marketing and packaging what they do; there was no way Jobs would talk about why Lala is gone unless they have iTunes.com ready to roll.

    I do think you’re right, that iTunes.com is an inevitability, and there was a great post over at Lonely Sandwich about how that may tie into the Apple TV bit with a comprehensive streaming solution for media; the iOS4 name change to me also points toward that possibly running Apple TV, so there’s shared elements but hopefully eventually iOS4 for iPhone, iOS 4 for iPad, iOS 4 for iTV (?), etc.

    Yeah, the “One More Thing” was hugely disappointing. I thought that was for major bold new product announcements or completely unexpected surprises, not a random tech demo.

    Jason: On the iPad price and updates, maybe there will just be a price drop if nothing else before the holidays? If a few hardware providers can churn out lower-priced competition running Android by the holiday season, Apple may start to feel the heat.

  4. Jeff

    Ha, I don’t mean to sound so bitter, just underwhelmed. If anything makes me bitter, it’s the lack of meaningful response to the iPad and the shuttering of the two projects that looked like meaningful competitors to it – the HP tablet and the Courier.

Leave a Reply