Apple’s confidence

It’s been an interesting few years for Apple. Despite high sales numbers for its products, Wall Street has been beating on the company and analysts as a group have wondered if Apple has lost its mojo. Today’s keynote should put that nonsense to rest.

One thing that became very clear to me early on in today’s keynote is that Apple was having fun again. They were really enjoying themselves.

One of the highlights of the keynote address was whenever Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering, took the stage. He was jovial and interacted with the crowd very well, often cracking jokes about the lack of skeuomorphic elements in the new design.

It was light-hearted and Federighi would laugh right along with the crowd. It helped put the crowd at ease about a slew of important announcements that would come throughout the event.

To me, the fun was coming from the confidence Apple had in the products they were announcing. It’s not hard to enjoy yourself when you know the products you are going to introduce will be accepted and applauded by the people you’re releasing them for.

The announcements, like the design changes to iOS 7, were certainly not a sure thing. There was wild speculation on what exactly Apple would do, scaring a lot of people into thinking that iOS 7 could end up as flat as Windows 8. Of course, that didn’t happen.

Let’s not forget Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing, joking with the crowd about giving a sneak peek of the new Mac Pro to 5,000 of his closest friends. And then in a remark that will surely go down in keynote history, Schiller said after introducing the Mac Pro, “Can’t innovate anymore, my ass.”

Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services, was all smiles as he introduced iTunes Radio and talked to attendees about the new service. This was especially true when he revealed the ad-supported service would be ad-free for people who purchase iTunes Match.

Of course, you can’t talk about the keynote without mentioning Apple CEO, Tim Cook. Tim looked relaxed during his portion of the keynote and didn’t linger on a lot of needless numbers. He exuded confidence.

The entire Apple executive team looked confident in their products and judging from the reaction inside the keynote room today, the developers responsible for making apps for the platforms seemed confident in Apple.

That’s great news for consumers.



  • http://www.ifans.com/ Joe Rossignol

    I couldn’t have said it better myself. Hope you’re enjoying yourself at WWDC.

  • JMKMAS

    Bet the beer is great. Fun after game chatter

  • Jeff Zugale

    Schiller’s quote was the top hilight of the whole thing, for me. Icing on a very fine cake, really, but someone needed to say that, and I personally needed to hear it – that’s confidence. I was thrilled.

    Of course, AAPL will take a big hit over the next few weeks as the usual suspects whine about there not being any new iOS devices shown… when we knew there wouldn’t be. Duh.

    • http://www.hugepatheticforce.org/ JonJ

      These days a very large part of both the punditocracy and the public only see Apple as a maker of the iPhone and the iPad. They don’t seem to give a damn about the computers, which I guess are increasingly devices for only a relatively small group of “power users.” Too bad the company changed its name from “Apple Computer Co.”

      • EYER

        “They don’t seem to give a damn about the computers…”

        What do you think the iPad and IPhone are?

  • Keith

    Is it just me, or was Schiller’s comment directed at Woz?

    • Tomas Sancio

      Woz was there to presence the death of expansion slots in Apple computers. They had a run that spanned four decades.

    • rattyuk

      I think that was trick camera work by the production staff. He certainly didn’t appear to be laughing as he was forced to eat his words.

      • facescar

        There was another later. Upon the announcement of audio-only Facetime calls, they cut to a shot of a somewhat off-guard Skype employee.

    • albertkinng

      Woz never lie. (as in what he think is true or not btw) He has been hurt with indifference from Apple and if you are a co-founder of the biggest american corporation in the USA it may be not so good trying to tell your ideas and received a big laugh from the people who need to appreciate their job because one day you decided to join forces with a salesman and build the empire who runs computing in the world. So, if Woz is more to the dark side now and love Android now and then, for me it’s understandable. The day Google hired him as a knowledge coach to Android that day I will be very afraid.

    • http://www.swift2.blogspot.com Swift2

      I saw it as aimed at Wall Street and tech bloggers.

  • Colin Mattson

    Amen. This was the Apple—and the Tim—we all wanted to see.

  • http://www.staska.net Staska

    I certainly hope so.

    Because the stupendous Apple’s growth trajectory based on 5 year iPhone advantage/lead, that SJ predicted so amazingly accurately in 2007, ended in 2012.

    I hope Apple is taking taking this 1 year pause between any important new products as a breather, to sit back, relax and then come out swinging with something new and great. And I really hope iOS 7, what we saw of it, is just the beginning, and a foundation.

    Otherwise – Apple already almost stopped growing where it matters most – iPhones – in Q1 2013. Where the heck will the growth come next, or protections from margin erosion?

    Unless we’ll have some real big surprises in the next 6 to 12 months

    • Space Gorilla

      Isn’t the iPad ramping up even faster than the iPhone ever did? Seems like the next growth driver is already here. At current rates the iPad will outsell the iPhone in just a couple years. It seems obvious that the iPad is the future of personal computing.

      • Matt

        You are absolutely correct.

      • http://www.staska.net Staska

        Maybe. But rampin up way faster – means growth will stop way sooner, and then what?

        • Space Gorilla

          The consumer-facing computing device market is incredibly large, easily large enough that Apple will have a self-sustaining ecosystem, somewhere north of one billion customers. It becomes a rolling customer base, you never get to the end of selling to existing customers. That’s the kind of scale Apple is approaching. It’s mind boggling, and probably only two or three years away time-wise.

          Apple will be fine, you have nothing to worry about. Unless you’re one of those people hoping for Apple to fail, in which case you’re going to be disappointed. I find it odd that some people spend a lot of time arguing against Apple’s success. The reality is that Apple is wildly successful. Trying to prove that the success won’t last, or that Apple doesn’t deserve it, stole their ideas, duped customers with clever marketing, does unethical or hypocritical things, whatever, all that stuff is basically acting like a little kid on a playground stomping his feet and yelling “No fair!”

          Also ramping up way faster doesn’t mean growth must stop sooner. I suppose it could, but it’s not a causal relationship. Growth slows or stops for a lot of reasons. Ah, maybe you’re basing your argument on how ‘fads’ work, how they can burn out quickly. But the iPad is not a fad, there’s no gimmick, it’s a very useful personal computing device, hence the incredible success of the iPad.

    • http://www.swift2.blogspot.com Swift2

      “Almost stopped growing”? It grew year-after-year. Sales will ALWAYS fall off after Christmas.

    • mdelvecchio

      1 year pause between new products? dude, do you realize how many years went between the Apple II, the Mac, the iPod, the iPhone, the iPad…?

      also, i would say both the rMBP and the MP are pretty important products.

      • http://www.staska.net Staska

        How many years went between products? I sure do know.

        Let’s see what Apple does next.

        Problem is – iPhone stopped growing/working. iPad – we’ll see. The rest:

        Apple II, the Mac, the iPod, the iPhone, the iPad…..

        Damn – I hope Apple has something disruptive :)

        • Space Gorilla

          Uh, when did iPhone sales stop growing? The rate of growth has changed and margins have changed, but sales are still increasing and always have been. Facts and reality please. And what’s your definition of working? Do you mean if I go buy an iPhone right now it won’t turn on? Hmm, I also better tell my wife her iPhone stopped working, she’s going to be pissed.

  • ChopinBlues

    “Today’s keynote should put that nonsense to rest.”

    Why would you think that? The Apple-haters never let the facts get in their way before, so why would they now?

    • http://www.swift2.blogspot.com Swift2

      Without getting partisan, there’s a party you can give facts to forever, but they’ll always go back to “Benghazi.” Oops. Partisan.

  • http://thinkitcreative.com/ Patrick Gant

    I like that Apple’s keynotes have evolved into a team effort. Granted, that started happening when Steve was still with us, but you can really see now how each event is a showcase of products that are under the direct ownership of Apple’s VPs with Tim Cook serving as bandleader of the show. It takes a long time to build a culture that can pull this off so seamlessly. I agree about the swagger. It’s good to see.

    I have only two quibbles about today’s keynote: the race car thing was just weird…and the new TimeCapsule is bizarre looking.

    • albertkinng

      I don’t think it was team-less. Steve always pointed out that all has been achieved by team work in the past. So… Your point is more or less accurate. IMHO

    • http://www.swift2.blogspot.com Swift2

      Eddy Cue is well-known for his love of fast cars. I agree about the AirPort Extreme/Time Capsule. During the presentation, I thought it was about the size of a tiny hard drive. Then I looked at the Apple Store. An extruded Apple TV.

      • mdelvecchio

        say what you will, but the thing works — i get better signal with it to the back of my house & yard than i did w/ the previous Extreme. thats a win for me.

    • http://www.hugepatheticforce.org/ JonJ

      I think the point about the race car thing (which I agree was pretty strange–how many adults want to race little cars around a track?) was that it illustrated some of the capabilities of iOS7 that the developers (who after all were the audience) might want to experiment with.

  • http://darcyfitzpatrick.tumblr.com/ Darcy Fitzpatrick

    “It’s not hard to enjoy yourself when you know the products you are going to introduce will be accepted and applauded by the people you’re releasing them for.”

    That’s a dangerous way to think. I think it’s more that they themselves believed so strongly in the products and the work they put into them, and that’s what gave them their confidence.

    Either way, the confidence was there, it was deserved, and it was great to see and feel.

  • Adriano

    I had never questioned Apple’s confidence, why should we? I think it is stupid to question that!!!

    The only thing they have to do now, is to improve iOS 7! Everything else on that keynote today was just perfect: OS X and Mac Pro – WOW! But they have to rework a lot of the design changes in iOS 7. They have started with some amazing ideas, but they have to rework some of the failures, like the app icons oder the icons used within the apps, improve notifications and Control Center. Some of the design changes are absolutely meaningless, especially for the average iOS user. They won’t understand some of the stock icons used within the apps and they clearly won’t see the improvement behind it!

    I want to see an improvement version of iOS 7 with a different design of their stock apps. But despite all what happened since 2007, I would never question Apple’s confidence! Never!

    • Space Gorilla

      I showed the iOS 7 video to my kids, I have three teenagers and one almost teenager. They loved the look, the icons, everything. I loved it as well. I’m a designer, I can nitpick any design if I want to, but my initial reaction was very positive. iOS 7 is vibrant, alive, colorful, modern, slick, and fun. Including the icons. Like any design it will be refined over time, but it’s a great start. Keep in mind that Ive has to think about more than just an iPhone UI, he’s working on a new personal computing platform. As I said already, the iPad will be outselling the iPhone in just a couple years, three years at the most. I expect Apple to release an even larger screen-size iPad as well as an iOS Air laptop. This is the future of personal computing. “But it’s not a real computer!” you cry? Yeah, I heard that one before, back when Apple popularized the graphical user interface. How did that work out?

      • Adriano

        I am sorry, but why are you replying to me? Did you read my first sentence?

        I had never questioned Apple’s confidence, why should we? I think it is stupid to question that!!!

        There is no reason to question Apple’s confidence, just because other people don’t understand the way they do things.

        • Space Gorilla

          Hmm, I’m not sure I was replying to you Adriano. Your comment isn’t what I remember replying to. Disqus voodoo perhaps?

          • Adriano

            Never mind! Just wondering :)

          • Space Gorilla

            No problem. I do find it incredibly exciting to think where iOS as a computing platform will be in five years. I think most pundits/analysts are missing it, they’re stuck on the smartphone discussion (Android’s hollow victory) and dismissing the iPad as a ‘real computer’.

          • Adriano

            Absolutely! A 100% my thoughts!

            And this is what I absolutely love about Apple, they amaze me every time. This WWDC was very special and I am so excited what they will come up with in the fall, when iOS, OS X and the new Mac Pro will be ready.

  • dr.no

    Craig bad mouthing Scott is just obscene. It is like Steve Jobs wasn’t when all this was happening. mean spirited cat fight.

    • http://www.tumblr.com/blog/his-divine-shadow His Shadow

      When, exactly, did anyone badmouth a Scot?

      • quietstorms

        Well it could be assumed by the jokes he made about not harming trees and killing virtual cows.

        The word “clean” must have been mentioned 40 times.

        It was there but nuanced.

        • http://www.tumblr.com/blog/his-divine-shadow His Shadow

          So it wasn’t actually there.

          • quietstorms

            Steve Jobs once said in an iAds demo that it runs in HTML5 and the audience laughed because they knew he was making a joke about Flash.

            Do you need to be obvious to show intent?

  • http://darcyfitzpatrick.tumblr.com/ Darcy Fitzpatrick

    I agree Craig Federighi was great. I especially liked those little moments where he would poke fun at the veneer Apple puts on things, like all his good looking “friends” in the apps he interacted with in the demos. Being able to poke fun at yourself and your company publicly and not take things so seriously is the highest form of confidence and I think people really respond to that sort of thing, subtle as it might be.

  • Haggersnash

    Fuck. Yeah. There was a great energy to that keynote. It set a very positive tone for WWDC. Apple are on their game.

  • http://danl.im/ Daniel Lim

    Well It could easily have been a facade, think about how noone from the outside world knew when Steve Jobs was ill. Then again, I’m really happy with the announcements. Not complaining.

  • http://codereflect.com @sarat

    May be this is one of the Apple events I watched and enjoyed post Jobs era.

  • Vamsmack

    I really enjoyed the Sea Lion joke

    • http://wa3l.com Wael Al-Sallami

      Yeah, and plainly admitting that they simply ran out of cat names and just weren’t gonna let it stop them.

  • http://wa3l.com Wael Al-Sallami

    Spot on! I couldn’t help but be disappointed at the rate of innovation the past 1-1.5 years and was beginning to have my doubts about Apple seizing to be the innovative company that makes the products I rely on. This keynote really fixed that for me. Everyone seemed very confident, and had much to show for it.

  • Mark Thomson

    Steve’s greatest product was never just one thing. It is Apple. After seeing how the board team presented yesterday really drove that message home. Apple, is the product.

  • Odi Kosmatos

    I love what I saw. Apple is, amazingly, getting even better at its game. Great times.

  • Tim Knowles

    I think that you hit the nail on the head here Jim. Apple were in fine form and could not have delivered the Keynote in any better fashion. The Mac Pro is insane. iOS 7 is a new beginning and the only weakness Apple showed was in mentioning Android at all. It is a by-product, an ephemeral, repugnant POS that deserved no mention. I did feel that the iTunes Radio presentation felt a bit rushed and deserved a little more spotlight but I’m sure has a lot to do with the last minute preparations or time constraints. After playing with iOS 7 today, any fears of mine have been dispelled. There are some icons that miss the mark, but overall it is extremely nice to use.

    Airdrop is also the best news I’ve had in a longtime and will tie in nicely with an app that I’m building. If you are interested in design, branding and networking, head on over to http://www.blinkpocket.com

    • quietstorms

      The OS itself was the star but the icons need some serious work.

  • albertkinng

    Apple is back. Jobs-less and Stronger. I’m very happy!

  • lkalliance

    This whole “Apple is back” thing seems ridiculous. They never went anywhere: the products they unveiled today were many months in the making, I would suppose.

    • http://www.hugepatheticforce.org/ JonJ

      The Intertubes are full of folks who don’t understand Apple well enough to realize that Apple never “went away.” They don’t seem to understand what this keynote showed about where Apple is now, either.

  • http://www.swift2.blogspot.com Swift2

    I loved watching the whole keynote live, on my Apple TV. 1080p. ‘Bye, live blogs.

  • http://tewha.net/ Steven Fisher

    I thought the only reason Craig Federighi wasn’t as gripping as Steve Jobs is that I was constantly aware Steve Jobs could get away with absolutely anything up there. Craig Federighi has to answer to Tim Cook. :)