We can thank Steve Jobs, the co-founder and former CEO of Apple, for a lot of things. Plenty of memorable pieces of dialogue, mock turtlenecks, and so much more. One of the biggest is giant media events. Jobs was a force to be reckoned with, and watching him unveil products like the iPhone, iPod, the original MacBook Air, and the iPad was fantastic.
The media events are still around, and there are some presenters — executives at major companies like Apple, Microsoft, and Google — that are a lot of fun to watch as they unveil the next big thing. Some media events, though, feel a little tacked on. Especially when companies actually send out a press release for the thing, or things, they are announcing before the event even starts.
Sometimes it all feels very unnecessary.
And yet, they persist. For instance, Samsung just hosted its annual Unpacked event to reveal not only the new Galaxy S20 series, but also the Galaxy Z Flip. This kind of makes sense — unveil the next big foldable phone, and also tack on your tried-and-true flagship models just for good measure. And yet, at the same time, one could make an argument that a press release and letting the news cycle handle things would have probably been just fine.
Next month, Apple may host an event, too. Rumor has it that we’ll see a media event on Tuesday, March 31. What’s the company going to unveil? The expectation is a “low-cost iPhone”, often referred to as the “iPhone 9” or “iPhone SE 2”. And I think it would be safe to say that if that were the only thing the company was going to announce, a huge event would not be necessary at all.
But Apple may also unveil new premium over-the-ear (and Apple-branded) wireless headphones, along with a new iPad Pro model, new 13-inch MacBook Pro variants with the scissor switch keyboard, and maybe even Bluetooth tracking accessories that could be called “AirTags”.
One smartphone is probably not enough for an event, even one that will probably fly off the shelves depending on its price point. But if you include all those rumored gadgets and devices? Well, maybe then you might have something to work with.
We’ll see other media events throughout the year, too. That includes another from Apple where we’ll see the company’s newest flagship iPhones and whatever else the company has in the works. Samsung will probably host another, and Google has its own events on the way. And let’s not forget things like WWDC’s opening keynote or Google’s equivalent for the I/O conference.
So, I’m curious: do you actively watch these events? Do you tune in while they’re happening and follow along in real-time? Or do you just wait for the media recap after the fact? And, even if you do still watch the media events, do you think companies should still be hosting them? Let me know!