I felt Apple's presentations were getting stale since around 2008/2009. They're really boring, repetitive and padded out with extra dull artsy videos on how their product or service has touched the lives of so many customers out there.
1) Tim Cook is a numbers guy, a planner. He's not a salesman like Steve Jobs, which is what we are use to. We just have to adjust to the fact Apple keynotes are now on the same level as just about every other tech companies. But he, combined w/ the rest of the Apple exec brain trust are more than capable of carrying on Apple's Jobsian tradition.
2) This is why Apple is so secretive. We would have all found the new iPad update more exciting yesterday if we hadn't already known what it would consist of. It's like opening up a birthday gift when you already know what's inside. Since Apple didn't show anything we didn't know about it the perception is: blah, even though it was a solid update.
3) The keynote was a different yesterday... the demos came after the big product announcements. In the past we were tortured for an hour of iTunes store sales numbers, Apple store opening videos, and way too long app demos, then the big product announcement. So I thank Apple for getting to the new product quicker than usual.
They should just find a really great (insanely great?) public speaker and hire him or her to be the face of Apple product launches. Jobs was able to convey a rare passion and enthusiasm. Can't blame the other execs for not quite being able to match it.
The other thing they should do is step up the secrecy. Everyone knew exactly what was coming at this latest event; it's too hard to control leaks from Asia. They should start issuing misleading info (e.g. "No retina display this year") to proactively fight the rumor mill. That way they could hopefully recapture some of the sense of surprise.
They'll never be quite the same without Steve. Only Steve could have made the iPhone 4S seem exciting. Nothing wrong with Tim, just a different personality and not a salesman. Steve could sell the Pope a new ring.
Apple just needs to apply the right formula. I was thinking about how Jobs sold things, and the first three things that came to mind were:
1) A child-like enthusiasm and wonder. Jobs often believably described things working like "magic", because they really were like magic to him.
2) Using very rehearsed phrases that seemed to say more than they did. Jobs (or his writer) was a master at words. Verbal sleight of hand, if you will.
3) Dissing the competition. This was a pretty common part of what he did. Jobs could not just say, "Oh look at the cool way we do this." He often had to prelude it with "Oh look how stupidly everyone else did this". Almost like a pep rally where you put down the other teams. Classy, no. Memorable, yes.
PS. I still think they should get a beautiful woman to be a presenter. Any room full of geeks would be falling all over themselves to be enthusiastic. Or it might be funny if they used all the actors from The Big Bang Theory... imagine the skits they could do with new equipment.
Apple products are of the calibre that they sell themselves. No elaborate presentation needed. For Apple, however, the presentation always needed to do justice to the product. This is just common-sense when you're in the business of delighting consumers.
it's a matter of image and principle. If your goal is excellence, then excellence should pervade every aspect of the operation - from retail to packaging to presentation, etc. Little details add up.