When it comes to product-centric events and announcements, advance leaks and rumors are nothing new for Apple. But something about this round was different. The pre-emptive reveals came with more detail, more clamor, and — at least for us — more excitement.
“This,” we thought, “is going to be completely bonkers.”
For the most part, our expectations were accurate. Most of the rumored product announcements, names, and price points turned out to be correct, and yes — the seats at the brand new Steve Jobs Theatre were as plush and comfortable as promised (more on that later).
But in case you didn’t have time to attend or stream the two-hour event, fear not — we covered it for you. Behold: Here’s what you missed.
The Apple Event Was Totally About the iPhone 10th Anniversary The Venue
Part of the anticipation leading up to September 12, 2017 was the fact that it was the inaugural event for Apple’s Steve Jobs Theater. The morning kicked off with a tribute to its namesake, in the form of his voice speaking on the heart and mission of Apple, and one line of text displayed on a large-screen black backdrop: “Welcome to the Steve Jobs Theater”.
Watch Apple’s moving tribute to Steve Jobs at the start of the iPhone X event. pic.twitter.com/dhrYjVsxal
— Recode (@Recode) September 13, 2017
“I love hearing his voice,” were the opening remarks of Apple CEO Tim Cook. “We dedicate this theater to Steve, because we love him, and because he loved days like this.”
The theater is merely one segment of the much larger landscape of Apple Park: an allegedly billion-dollar investment to make into a reality what is said to be an age-old vision of Jobs himself. Even the theater’s leather seats were said to be valued at $14,000, and according to this tweet from TechCrunch, that came with quite to ROI.
— TechCrunch (@TechCrunch) September 12, 2017
It’s as if the venue was a preview to the commemorative nature of the event in its entirety. Sure, new products and features were announced with vim and vigor, but not without credit where credit — according to Apple — was due. Be it Jobs himself, customers, or the technology that served as a foundation for what was unveiled, there was an undertone of “what came before it” to everything that was showcased.
And it began with a place so many of us know well: The Apple Store … but with a new name.
The first major player to take the stage after Cook was Angela Ahrendts, Apple’s SVP of retail. Gone are the days of the Apple “store,” she said — instead, these flagship retail locations will be known as “town squares,” with locations slated for New York’s 5th Avenue, Paris, Milan, and Chicago’s Magnificent Mile.
The in-store experience is also getting an upgrade, including a new initiative called Today in Apple, which will provide workshops and other hands-on ways for customers to learn how to use Apple products to pursue their passions. A big part of it, of course, is the idea of creating a live community rooted in a love for the brand — a sentiment that aligns with the neighborhood-esque naming (and what we anticipate to be design) theme of the new retail presence.
— CNET (@CNET) September 12, 2017 Apple Watch
Once upon a time — no pun intended — a watch served the purpose of letting its wearer know if she was late for a meeting. After yesterday, there are no two ways about it: Watches are high-end items that are used to make a statement, help you maintain a healthy lifestyle, or in the most extreme cases, alert you to a potentially life-threatening situation.
The Series 3, which is the latest generation of the Apple Watch — now the “number one watch in the world,” according to the announcement — has completely redefined the concept of a watch. The more expensive version (priced at $399) has cellular connectivity, allowing you to make and receive calls on the same number you use for your phone, assuming it’s an Apple device. Not only that, but it comes with streaming music capabilities, boasting its ability to let users go for a run and leave their phones at home.
But the Series 3 also comes with a new emphasis on health and wellness, most notably on heart health. Using the new Heart Rate app, Apple says it will collect and synthesize heart rate data from users to not only compile its Heart Rate Study, but also to alert users when something appears to be irregular. For the moment, however, the Series 3 has a built-in feature to let users know when their heart rates elevate while at rest — what one reporter relatably joked as “blogger mode.”
“This is what we at apple call ‘blogger mode'” https://t.co/SKjKd7y0o5
— ಠ_ಠ (@MikeIsaac) September 12, 2017
What’s interesting is that the casing for the Series 3 is about the same size as the Series 2, which is quite impressive, considering all of its capabilities. Here’s Apple COO Jeff Williams breaking it all down:
There was less buzz around Apple TV leading up to the event, which was reflected in the announcements today. The biggest unveiling to come from this category is the introduction of Apple TV 4K, which boils down to image quality and viewing experience. Yahoo! correspondent JP Mangalindan concisely described why it matters:
Cue’s talking about why we should care about 4K images. Long story, short: It’s sharper and more colorful. #AppleEvent
— JP Mangalindan (@JPManga) September 12, 2017
One other pivotal Apple TV announcement was that it will now come with live sports, which might signal to some a further decline in