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Impressions of Apple’s first post-Steve Event

 

(picture courtesy Endgagdet liveblog)

Without a doubt, there was much hype and expectation leading up to today’s “Let’s talk iPhone” event. It would be the first post-Steve product launch, a first for new CEO Tim Cook, in addition to bringing the long-awaited launch of iOS5, iCloud and the new iPhone. So now that the 1h 40 min presentation is over, what impressions did we get of where Apple is and where it’s headed – hardware and software-wise?

Tim Cook started things off – dapper and upbeat, if not a bit understated. He set the tone for an unorthodox procession of presentations. Today was labeled an “iPhone” event but he spent time talking ‘bout lots of other things – Apple retail store reception is impressive in China, iPad adoption is unbelievable, iPhone market share and penetration is awesome, Lion download rates are out of this world. This “nice to know” section seemingly took forever and we politely nodded. Can we move on please? Tell us something we don’t already know, about iPhone.

Little did we know we were then going to be treated to a repeat of the WWDC tease of iOS5 and iCloud, led by the new troika (not counting Tim) Scott Forstall, Phil Schiller and Adam Cue who faithfully recapped the features of the new software for our benefit. We who already follow the blogs and tech media. This went on and on. Even the livebloggers were bored. Our Google+ hangout was in dire need of refreshments, diversion, anything to keep our minds on the subject at hand. What was it? Oh yeah, iPhone!

Here and there they interjected a few new app additions to the family. Cards made its debut, as did Find my iPhone with Find my Friends. Great. No no details on iPhone yet. And we were an hour into the presentation, interspersed with demos, ending with a disappointing full stop – iOS and iCloud available October 12. Bummer. A week to wait. Oh an update to 2 blink-and-you-missed-em iPods were also mentioned. Indeed.

Finally, an hour later, iPhone news did emerge. They confirmed the pre-launch rumours of iPhone 4S with A5 chip, boosted speed, new CPU, increased battery life, better call quality, 8 megapixel camera (zero point 5 seconds between shots if you please) and airplay mirroring (new!). Available in 3 models 64GB $399 32GB $299 16GB $199; iPhone 4 $99 and iPhone 3GS for free. And they introduced Siri into the world. Amazing and revolutionary “intelligent assistant that gets things done just by asking.” Intriguing.

Then Tim (remember me?) took to the stage to thank everyone. Fin.

Overall it was a format we were not used to. It was no Steve cameo, hardly any Tim and more troika. Demos of products were mixed into the disjointed flow, rather than being a balanced structured presentation with a main theme going through it. Heck – let’s talk iPhone – turned out to be lots of talk, about iPhone, but also about many other things.

There was also no “One more thing”. Sniff.

 

You can re-watch the presentation – here

 

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