Following Tim Cook’s goofy performance in San Francisco last June at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference, the performance at today’s supposed big iPhone 6 launch at the Flint Center for the Performing Arts in Cupertino, California was an even bigger yawn. In response to the iWatch introduction as the extravaganza’s “One More Thing” finale, Apple’s stock lost $38 billion in value in just one hour.
Apple’s marketing chief Philip Schiller did an Obama and kept the audience and legions of media representatives waiting beyond the scheduled 10 a.m. West Coast time. The Apple link streaming the event would only work on Apple products and many of those “hooked-up” with the streaming link received Chinese speech overlaying the presentation.
The company’s new larger and thinner iPhone 6 was exactly what the mainstream expected, including an aluminum body and curved glass front on both sides that curves around the sides. The cheaper model has a 4.7-inch screen has a million pixel screen, and the more expensive iPhone 6 Plus model has a 5.5 inch-screen has 2 million pixels, for what Schiller called a “stunning display.” But the crowd was less than overwhelmed.
The new iPhone camera is substantially better than the current iPhones with the addition of image-stabilization functionality. Yet this upgrade was more of a catching up to the competition than being any type of the disruptive change for which Apple is known.
Apple also rolled out its Apple Pay as a competitor to PayPal and Google Wallet, but it seemed almost like a side show. Apple clearly de-emphasized Apple Pay, which it hopes will be the leverage tool to expanding e-commerce revenue from Apple’s 800 million iTunes subscribers. But as I reported last week in “iCloud Hack Threatens Launch of iPhone 6 and Apple Wallet,” the disastrous security leak in the iCloud that allowed a still undetermined number of celebrities’ photos and videos to be downloaded by criminal agents, appears to still threaten Apple’s strategy of keeping users in its “walled garden.”
The final drum roll for the show was Tim Cooks’ channeling of Steve Jobs when he introduced Apple’s “One More Thing” finale as the iWatch.
“Creating beautiful objects that are as simple and pure as they are functional, well, that’s always been our goal at Apple. We designed Apple Watch as a whole range of products enabling millions of unique designs,” said Apple senior vice president of design Jony Ive in a pre-recorded video. He added, “I think we are now at a compelling beginning actually designing technology to be worn, to be truly personal.”
Investors were so impressed with today’s performance by Apple that they sent the value of Apple stock down $38 billion as the price plunged from $103 to $96.
Apple used to be the “It” company that engendered technical and fashion awe. Today “It” was just one of many makers of expensive phones and watches.