Apple Doesn't Need A "Hit". It Needs More Keynotes.


The conventional wisdom, right now, is that Apple is in a tailspin and badly needs a new, "magical" product. If Steve Jobs were still alive, we hear, Apple would never go this long without dazzling us. 

I don't know if that's necessarily the case. 

There's no question that AAPL, as a stock, has been in a bit of a freefall over the last six months or so. 

Part of that is profit-taking... AAPL made a lot of people very rich, and now they're taking their money and getting out. 

A sizeable amount of that fall is based in irrational fear - the sky is falling, so get out while you can! The markets always run on fear and greed. 

But in these attention-starved times, we have to step back and consider the long view. 

Apple has a massive amount of money at the moment. It also has a history of genre-defining innovation, especially over the last 10 years, that is really unrivaled in the history of technology. And that innovation hot-streak continued right up to 2010, with the iPad. 

But in tech, we're always looking for the "next thing". So analysts predict Apple HDTVs, and iWatches, and a world flooded with cheap plastic iPhones.

We've come to expect a world-changing product from Apple every couple of years - because they did it three times in the last decade!

Never mind that no other tech company - ever - had a 10-year hit streak like the iPod-iPhone-iPad trifecta, before or since.

While it's undeniably the case that Apple will have to continue to innovate if they want to remain a tech superstar, I don't think that "going 3 years without a genre-creating hit" is what has the company in the perceived doldrums right now. 

It's the keynotes. 

We, the Apple fans of the world, need more keynotes! We need an excited Tim Cook in jeans and a turtleneck (or whatever the Tim Cook equivalent may be), and Jony Ive's British accent, and white text on a blue-gray gradient, and "one more thing"

We need to see Apple using their products, and being excited about them.

For years, Steve seemed to take the stage every quarter or so - usually 4-5 times a year. Some were HUGE. Introducing the Nano. Introducing the iPhone. It was like seeing Wonka open the chocolate factory for the first time.

Some were LESS than huge: Introducing the iPhone SDK. Introducing iTunes Movie Rentals. Heck, Introducing the Apple Hi-Fi and a $100 iPod sleeve.

Those keynotes weren't all showstoppers. But every few months, Apple had our undivided attention. Those keynotes kept us engaged with Apple. They kept us engaged with their products, and showed us how we could create cool stuff. They kept us engaged with Steve, personally. 

In October of 2011, Steve died. The world wept. We cried because we truly related to a man that most of us had never met - and those keynotes were a major part of our emotion for Jobs and for Apple. 

While Tim Cook has kept the company soldiering on, there has been a dramatic slowdown in the number of keynotes lately. The last one was in October 2012, for the iPad Mini and new iMac - that's approaching six months ago. 

And the next event isn't on the calendar yet. Some say "end of April", but rumors of events have been proven false of late. 

Bottom line - we aren't hearing from Apple every 3-4 months anymore. And I think that this is a mistake. 

There's no reason to save the keynotes for the introductions of new iPhones and iPads and iOS/OSX updates. The little keynotes are fun, too. 

Hopefully we'll get one for iRadio. 

And hopefully iRemote isn't far behind.

But in the meantime, don't be a stranger, Tim. 


  1. Just wanted to say how much I am enjoying reading your posts. I've just discovered AAAD and will be sticking around. It's always good to find another opinionated Mac fan, especially when their opinion so closely matches my own, so often!
    Do add Farcebook integration; I'm mostly over it these days but it is still the easiest way for most of us to share a good story.

    1. Thanks, Jason. I'll try to get a Facebook share button enabled right away... I'm far better at writing tech opinions than writing HTML, though, so it may take a bit.

      Even if Apple keeps us waiting for another keynote/new product, this blog will get a bit more exciting as we break ground on the home DIY projects this spring. (Glad to hear that people are reading posts other than that WOW v. DirecTV one!)