Why do we ruin all of Apple’s surprises?

In a brief hiatus from tech blogging, forced upon me as I moved house, I’ve taken a good deal of time to think about the nature of Apple’s product launches, and how our community engages with new products before they’re released. I’m essentially talking about the countless leaks and rumors we receive every day, documenting the next iPhone’s form factor, its display, its inner components, its release date. I’m quietly convinced that there is nothing worth knowing about the next iPhone that we don’t already know, and that really makes me quite sad.

For the longest time, one of Apple’s defining characteristics was its secrecy. The brilliance with which it concealed new products and teased us with upcoming devices was sublime. It meant that Apple’s game changing products, the iPod, the iPhone, the Aluminum Macbook all hit the market with such force that we still talk about their significance to the market today.  But now, things have changed, almost certainly for the worst. As I mentioned before, the iPhone 6 may as well have been released last month. Every year, the magnitude of leaks surrounding Apple’s future products has grown, they’ve become more detailed, more comprehensive. Where before you could expect to find one prototype iPhone in a bar, now every man and his dog has a working mockup of the next iPhone. Vivid imagination has been replaced by skinned Android software and dummy devices. Collectively, we have destroyed the aura of mystery and anticipation that surrounds Apple’s products, and I hate it.

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Don’t get me wrong, I understand that these rumors and leaks are important to the community, and indeed they’re the bread and butter of tech blogging at this time of year, but some rumors do come across as plain desperate. The rest of them are certainly rooted in genuine intelligence, and it’s these leaks that take away the most from Apple’s product launches. Of course, the battle is already lost, and the iPhone launch will not be a surprise when it rolls around (probably on September 19, because we already know right?), but I miss the old days. I wish we could go back to a time when the iPhone’s launch was a year of baited breath and anticipation, and then an awe inspiring keynote speech. I don’t want to watch people using dummy iPhone’s 3 months before the device is released, I want to be surprised.

Of course, surprises aren’t always good, and Apple has, by some people’s standards, failed to deliver on big products, but for me, that doesn’t matter. I want to come away from an Apple keynote absolutely mind-blown, at the very least, I want to feel like I’ve learned something. There might still be some small hope of surprise when the iPhone 6 is released, but if Tim Cook simply confirms a bunch of rumors that have been around for several months already, then the iPhone 6 event will be lost on me. More infuriatingly, with another iPhone on the horizon, the cycle will begin again.

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  • Rick Rudge

    It was no big surprise when Steve Jobs introduced the new iPhone. We were talking about it long before the World of Apple announcement. The difference with the newer Apple products is that the rumor mongers have 3-D printers now that can actually make a prototype that even Apple couldn’t do back then. Also, China can whip out copies of products that are so close to the original that we just don’t know it from the real thing.

  • Rick Rudge

    It was no big surprise when Steve Jobs first introduced the new iPhone. We were talking about it long before the MacWorld announcement. The difference with the newer Apple products is that the rumor mongers have 3-D printers now that can actually make a prototype that even Apple couldn’t do back then. Also, China can whip out copies of things that are so close to the original that we just don’t know it from the real thing.

  • gettysburg11s

    I’m not sure how Apple “failed to deliver” on big products. The sales numbers they put up, even after several months, would paint a different picture.

    Anyways, the leaks that come out about the iPhone are almost entirely from the Chinese supply chain, not people here in the U.S. There is little Apple can do about this. Years ago, the supply chain was simple enough that they could control it. Not so any more.

    At least people don’t go into the launch event with unrealistic expectations, as they did in years past. Everyone knows what is coming, and they are ready for it to some degree.

  • David Jacobs

    I have already purchased an iPhone 6 4.7 inch case online from a case manufacturer.So they must have received dummies from Apple to be able to manufacture it.I won’t give the name of the manufacturer but it is a well known one.

  • Rick Rudge

    Another negative about all of these leaks is that when the iPhone does finally show up, many of us iPhone users are disappointed when we didn’t get all of the bells and whistles that these leakers professed we would get. Ironically, Apple’s stock always plummets when they finally announce a new iPhone model. Well, I guess that this is a good time to invest in Apple stock. :-)