On 25 March, Apple invited celebrities and members of the tech and entertainment press to the Steve Jobs Theater for a range of special announcements. What made this event a little odd, however, was that it was entirely focused on services. There were no hardware announcements and the only software that was demonstrated on stage were existing (yet refreshed) apps as the delivery channels for new services.
I’ve read numerous articles and listened to various podcasts that have all meticulously analysed Apple’s new offerings: Apple News+; Apple Card; Apple Arcade; Apple TV Channels; and Apple TV+.
Aside from the lack of hardware and software announcements, many analysts, commentators and journalists have been perturbed the lack of any pricing information and the delay in public release, with the exception of Apple News+. Furthermore, many were bothered by Apple’s decision to have celebrities such as Steven Spielberg, Oprah Winfrey, Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon onstage to discuss their projects, rather than show off trailers and original video material for Apple TV+.
The most common question that I have heard online is this: if Apple has almost nothing to release right now, be it a full service or pricing, then what was the point of this event?
Some have come to what is perhaps the most natural answer to this question, in that Apple needs to show Wall Street that it has a considerable new revenue source, beyond the iPhone. Still, people persist in asking why these announcements couldn’t have been made when more concrete information could be shared.
I agree with the assertion above that Apple is keen to reassure and impress Wall Street. I do believe, however, that it is deeper than this. Wall Street was not the only audience during this event. I posit that there are two major cultural reasons that underpinned Apple’s decision how to hold this event, even without completed services or full pricing announcements. Read more