Three years ago, on the day Steve Jobs announced the coming of the iPhone, I took this photo of people marveling at one encased like the Hope Diamond. All hail the iPhone. It was just three years ago — although it seems like so much longer. The anticipatory build-up of hype was every-bit as staggering as it is for Steve Jobs’ Wednesday unveiling of the miracle device that will deliver us all to the promised land.
And yes, if the device gets us only half-way to the promised land — or even Fantasy Land, for that matter, I’ll be lined up to get one the day they are released. Big surprise, as I’ve written many, many thousands of words about it dating back to before there was an iPhone — or even an iPod Touch.
So rather than writing — yet again — about what the device will be, I thought it would be more fun to predict what the response to the device will be by those who can’t wait to shift from rumoring to reviewing.
So, here are my predictions for what you’ll hear after the announcement on Wednesday:
Apple fan-boys: Fan boys (“fan-boy” is not a gender thing – “fan boys” can be both male or female) will gush over the device. That Steve Jobs walked through the valley of the shadow of death to live until this day is enough to make a certain sub-set of his followers start ritualistic reenactments of the announcement. They will gather weekly to recite his presentation.
Personal Technology Superstars: I’m basically talking about two people, here. David Pogue and Walt Mossberg will gush over the device, but will have major caveats about it. (Typical caveats: Battery life or lack of camera or its inability to tether with an iPhone’s 3G connection, for example — if, indeed, those are issues.) Pogue, of course, will have a couple of books published on how to use the device by the time it actually hits the shelves.
Tech-bloggers: Look for “Momma Bear” descriptions of the device: It’s too soft, it’s too cold, it’s too big. In other words, it’s not “just right.” “Just right” being a device running on Android that costs $200.
Media people: It will save magazines. It will save books. It will save newspapers. Of course, it won’t. It may save the jobs of people who produce “content” for all of those media, but (for reasons I’ve explained on this blog too often to repeat) new media accessed by a rectangular hunk of plastic is not the same as old media appearing in print or on TV — no matter what you call it or what the metaphors you use to describe it.
Me: I will love the device. I will be Goldilocks: It will be just right. But that will not be true — especially if it doesn’t have a video camera facing the user — I’m wanting a videoconferencing capable device. I will love it because, frankly, it is a part of why I’ve spent the past decade re-positioning Hammock Inc. from being a “magazine” business into being what is now called a content marketing or Internet marketing company (despite my problems with the word content). I am a believer in the principle that having more media options is a good thing. Having Google innovate on the Android platform and Apple on its apps/OSX platform, etc., are all good things. And, as I’ve said before, I’m a fan of Apple, but I don’t care if they win. I just want them to show the world what this device can be. And I don’t want to just use it — I want to work with clients in developing innovative ways to use it.
Last thing. If Steve Jobs wants to really impress me, at the end of the event, he’ll say something like, “Oh, and one more thing…”
And then he’ll present plans for the iFly: