Today’s WWDC keynote will likely go down in history for a couple of reasons. First, there was a massive amount of new product and feature releases, most notably that svelte MacBook Pro. But more than that, it was the first WWDC in quite some time in which Steve Jobs did not take to the stage. Though what’s most interesting to me is that the people who seemed to notice the latter fact are not the ones that you would expect.
It’s not the first keynote, mind you. You’ll note that I said that it’s the first WWDC. But WWDC seemed (to me, at least) to be the place where Steve was most at home. If you look back at some of the memorable videos from his return to the company in the late 1990s, it was always during WWDC where he’d do his best work.
It seems to me that there are two groups of people – Those who love Apple products and those who want the company to fail. It’s one of those companies that doesn’t often elicit a middle-of-the-road response and that’s part of what has made its story one that will be told for years to come. So you’d think that the ones lamenting a WWDC sans Mr. Jobs would be those who are grouped into the former.
But they aren’t.
No, instead the ones who are saying that Apple is different, or a lesser company or somehow doomed are those who likely aren’t going to buy an Apple product anyway. Maybe that’s to be expected, but the view from the floor today is that Apple is doing just fine. It’s different in some ways, yes, but it’s staying the course.
Retina MBP is too expensive, maps app not much better than googles… as @zackola said “without Jobs that company is just going to shit”
— Sebastian Delmont (@sd) June 11, 2012
Every time that Apple releases a new product, or a group of new features, you’ll hear people talking about how the company has somehow lost to its competition. You’ll see chatter everywhere about how Android or Windows Phone is beating iOS, about how Windows is superior to OS X or the Kindle Bookstore to iBooks. Take your pick.
Yet Apple continues to move forward, even without Steve at the helm. Tim Cook’s significance and success as the CEO of the company cannot be understated. Today’s $2199 price tag for a MacBook Pro? That’s a direct reflection upon the work that Cook did for years in trimming the fat from the company’s supply chain.
I’ve tried, and so far failed, to find a suitable Windows-based system to which I can compare the new MacBook Pro. Is it pricey? Yes. But Apple products demand a premium. Is there anything on the market that can compete with it? Not yet.
It’s like these attendees have been living under a rock. They’re genuinely excited about these “new” features. It’s kinda sad.
— Sydney Myers (@PhoneDog_Sydney) June 11, 2012
There are a few things that Apple does exceptionally well. One of the most notable is that it is often not the first company to do something, but rather it does things better.
Yes, there are apps out there that make it easy to display your boarding pass or get your tickets. But now they have the ability to be native. Sure, Google’s new maps look spectacular, and Android has had navigation for ages but there’s not an Android handset on the market today that compares with what Apple released today.
Apple did what it does best – it announced a host of features and products to its development community, and it said “now let’s see what you do with them”. Steve wasn’t there, but the spirit of the company and his legacy most certainly were.
Today’s keynote was likely historic, but not for the reasons that the nay-sayers would have hoped. Apple’s doing just fine, and the rest of us are just along for the ride, skating to where the puck will be.
This post is part of our contributor series. The views expressed are the author's own and not necessarily shared by TNW.