Apple product launches have come to have a predictable nature. First the rumours, then the product leaks, pre-launch hype, launch hype and so on. Why read the same things over & over again? To save you time, herewith the likely sequence of events in future Apple launches:
Rumours of a revolutionary new product from Apple surface at Mac rumour sites. Apple bans its employees from visiting any bars. All Apple employees are ordered to stitch their trouser pockets in so that the phones don’t fall out. Few days later, Jobs announces the revolutionary new iThing. Apple fans: ‘Drool! Slurp! Jobs is God! Critics say: ‘there is no real market need for iThing. This will flop’. Ballmer says: ‘iThing? Think nothing of it!’
Zillion blog mentions of iThing. Every news channel talks about the impending launch. Tech blogs whine about missing features: no Bluetooth, no camera, can’t make coffee. Apple gets zillion dollars worth of free publicity anyway. Posts like ’15 reasons why iThing is the next best thing’ surface on Apple friendly blogs only to be countered by ’17 reasons why you should not buy the iThing’ in other blogs. Each post gets over 500 comments with Apple fanboys and Apple haters calling each others names.
Apple announces pre-order date. Servers can’t handle the traffic and crash. Fans line up outside Apple stores the night before and on the day of the launch. Critics say:‘well, there are morons who will buy anything Apple sells!’. Stephen Fry joins the queue in London and gives interviews on how ‘wonderful it feels’ to hold the iThing. Apple reports sales of over 2 million iThings in 2 days – their ‘best ever launch’. Apple shares shoot up. Apple apologizes for shortage of iThing and pushes back India launch date by a month or two.
Tech gadgets rip apart the iThing and conclude that it costs only $88 to make while Apple sells it for $199. Dell announces a competitor to iThing – it’s called Tekton DTXY4A or some such. Tech blogs whine about missing features of iThing. More competition for iThing – faster, more features (not just coffee, can me make latte to go). Some users complain of iThing leaving an Apple logo shaped impression on their palms. Jobs emails to them asking them ‘not hold it for long’.
Economic Times carries front page article on why iThing is a non-starter, quotes user complaints and predicts it will fail miserably in India, if launched. In India – those seen with an iThing are labelled show offs – passersby walk up to them and ask, ‘can this run Windows XP?’. Groan.
12 months later, Apple announces a new, improved version of iThing – a whole 0.27% thinner than iThing (ver 1) and includes almost all of the missing features of iThing (ver 1). Almost. Apple fans: ‘Drool! Slurp! Jobs is God! Indian telecom companies announce the launch of iThing (ver 1): ‘to be launched soon’. Indian tech blogs lament about the high pricing of iThing. Commenters comment about how Nokia, Samsung and Windows-Mobile products kick iThing’s ass. iThing (ver 1) launched in India. 5000 consumers buy it. Apple announces record sales of iThing ver 2 in the US, adds 10 million more users. And announces plans to open 50 more stores in China.
And then we are back to another ‘Phase 1’. Ho Hum.