The Calm Before the Apple Storm
I don't watch Apple events any more.
It's too stressful to sit through their ponderous pacing, and I miss the enigmatic and irreplaceable presentation style of Steve Jobs.
Instead, I hang out in my local coffee shop, sip an iced mocha with all the fun removed from it, and wait for my twitter feed to explode.
I follow an eclectic bunch of tech journalists, game journalists, journalists, and other writers who aren't journalists on Twitter. Together, they basically represent the very center of Apple's prime demographic.
Or at least, they did. Sometimes I'm not sure anymore, and I feel like Apple is conducting weird experiments in business just to see what exactly they can get millions of people to buy.
This group of people is primed to go off right now. They are ready for that new iPhone, and they are ready to click the buy button mere seconds after it turns on, even if they're a bit disappointed with the final announcement.
All sorts of rumors have flown around in the months leading up to this morning's event. Body designs leaked. Colors leaked. iOS features leaked. Even names and prices leaked out.
Of everything that we "know" so far...the two weirdest things to me are FaceID and the pivot to OLED.
TouchID is the backbone of a lot of functions in Apple's ecosystem. It's how people sign in to things. It's how you buy stuff. It's how you unlock a phone.
I understand the challenges in incorporating that sort of fingerprint camera technology into the underside of a large bezel-less screen...but it's also wild to me that Apple would totally abandon something they've so carefully built and perfected over the years in favor of unproven and easily-fooled face recognition.
Oh sure, I bet they'll say that it's not easily fooled...but with today's tech, and the trouble that other phones have had with glasses-wearing users like myself, I just don't see this working out all that well.
The pivot to OLED makes sense on paper. I like OLED screens. But man. Apple has spent so much R and D money and time creating their "Retina" IPS panels that it seems kind of crazy to throw all of that out. Plus, the prime maker of OLED screens, and the manufacturer they're most likely sourcing these from...is Samsung. AKA their biggest competitor in the mobile space.
So Samsung will be making money off of each iPhone. I know that only a few companies actually make screens these days, so this is a problem that a lot of other companies face...but there was a time where Apple would have refused this sort of arrangement. I'm not sure if it's an impressive bit of cooperation or a weird tacit admission of defeat to the clear long-term future of OLED technology.
Just a little while to wait now. This should be "fun." At least they got the stupid headphones out of the way already.