Being under the microscope is a double-edged sword for Apple.
On one hand, the company gets hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of free publicity from the world’s journalists and bloggers. On the other, it gets picked apart for every transgression, real or imagined.
There are legions of critics and naysayers just waiting to pounce. We hear from them whenever Apple’s quarterly report shows a “weakness,” some supplier in Asia is rumored to be making fewer iPad components, or an Apple event fails to meet expectations — no matter how unrealistic those expectations might have been.
It’s for that last reason that I was somewhat amazed by the reactions to Apple’s WWDC 2012 presentation on Monday.
The coverage was actually intelligent and lucid. The vast majority of the articles I read were very positive. The sky was not falling, even though very few of the juicy rumors panned out.
There was no TV-related news (current Apple TV or unveiling the anticipated iTV), no new iMac or Mac Pro, only one MacBook with Retina display, no iPhone 5 and no 7-inch iPad.
However, what WWDC did deliver was meaty and important: previews of great features in Mountain Lion and iOS 6, an improved and expanded Siri, one great MacBook Pro and a glimpse of where all MacBooks are obviously going.
Honestly, I’m a bit puzzled by this moment of sanity. Now I actually have to write about how smart the observers are instead of complaining that they still don’t get it, even after years and years of Apple successes. Where’s the fun in that?
It’s possible that Apple gets a break here because WWDC is an event for software developers, and isn’t the usual place to unveil the big revolutions. It’s also possible that the majority of those covering Apple actually do get it now.
Maybe they understand that Apple continues to innovate on every front (well, almost every front — iMac and Mac Pro could certainly use some love), and is incredibly well positioned for the years ahead. Maybe they get that the innovations introduced between revolutions are as important as the revolutions themselves.
Maybe sanity is breaking out all around us, and we are entering a new age of enlightenment.