I'll go ahead and say it -- Apple media events over the past few years have lost a little bit of their magic. To be clear, this isn't the result of Apple stagnating on the innovation front, but rather due to the fact that every month we're bombarded with leaked photos of product casings and logic boards along with ostensibly insider-sourced news reports regarding new and upcoming products.
While this is great for the Apple enthusiast who can't help but want to know Apple's plans before they're announced to the public, it also makes for rather ho-hum media events. Indeed, the mindset of someone who routinely keeps up to date on the latest Apple developments likely looks like this:
A bigger screened iPhone 5? Already knew it. A completely revamped look in iOS 7? Old news. An iPhone with a fingerprint sensor? No kidding, it was obvious they were going to do this the moment they bought AuthenTec.
But with Apple rumored to be unveiling the iWatch at next week's media event, we decidedly have little to no idea as to what the hell it's going to look like, what it's going to do, and why it's worthy of inclusion in a product pipeline that Eddy Cue said was the best he's seen in 25 years.
Sure, we know that Apple has hired an impressive team of engineers and scientists with deep experience in medical sensor technologies. And sure, we know Apple has some fitness and sleep experts on the roster as well. But what do we really know about what the iWatch will be able to monitor?
In truth, nothing at all.
The reality is that the iWatch, as of yet, doesn't officially exist and its purported features are only bandied about in the most general of terms. So while it may have a health and fitness bent, that really doesn't tell us anything.
Even ostensibly big leaks about the iWatch tell us little to nothing about why the average consumer might want to purchase it. Just today, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo issued a research note claiming that the iWatch will sport 512MB of memory and 8GB of storage. Even if we assume that that's accurate, who cares really? What ultimately matters is what consumers will be able to do with this rumored and now borderline mythical iWatch.
Indeed, the closest we've seen to a report housing intriguing and specific details regarding the iWatch only surfaced last week when John Gruber intimated that consumers will be able to use the device to complete mobile transactions.
Over and above that, no one has any inkling -- not even the slightest clue -- as to what this thing is going to look like, save for rudimentary drawings we've seen in filed patents. While we seemingly can't go four days without a new iPhone 6 parts leak, Apple has successfully kept the iWatch design completely under wraps.
And that's freakin' awesome.
Apple's most recent WWDC was largely heralded as its best and most exciting in years, not only due to the breadth of awesome announcements, but also because many of the announcements came as a complete surprise to EVERYONE. Swift?! Who saw that coming?
Come next Tuesday, the expectations will be insanely high -- perhaps the highest they've been since the original iPhone was unveiled. At the very least, the buzz surrounding Tuesday's event is on par with, if not greater than, the hype that preceded the company's 2010 iPad event. And for whatever reason, call it a gut feeling, I believe that this announcement will be even bigger yet.
When Tim Cook and Co. take the stage at the Flint Center in just a few days, no one will have any idea what to expect. That is awesome. As opposed to Apple events in previous years, what we don't know seemingly outweighs the deluge of leaked photos and rumors we've seen. That is beyond intriguing.
In just five days, the entire tech world will be incessantly refreshing liveblogs to potentially witness the first new product category from Apple in the Tim Cook era. What the rumored iWatch looks like, what it does, why consumers should care about it -- all of these questions remain unanswered. The result is an Apple event with a little bit more mystery than usual, and the potential for a magical announcement the likes of which we haven't seen since Steve Jobs wowed everyone with the original iPhone.
With expectations as high as they are, the potential for disappointment certainly lurks beneath. To "wow" the world, Apple will undoubtedly have to deliver in a major way -- which is why the anticipation for next week's event is palpably exciting.