Tim Cook presenting 5G functionnaliy of the iPhone 12
Tim Cook presenting 5G feature of iPhone 12 on 13/10/20

COVID-19 shook up iPhone 12 launch


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The image is speaking for itself: Tim Cook in front of huge 5G characters in an empty auditorium due to COVID-19. The keynote was transformed into a 1-hour long TV-ad.

In the ancient times, guests at Apple’s keynotes were numerous and they were applauding during the presentations. This time, the party was in an empty Apple Park, in empty auditoriums. Like the time you wanted to celebrate your birthday but nobody was available to come. Sadly, you unpacked your gift… alone. No applause.

Guests at the hands-on area at Steve Jobs Theater.
Indecent crowded Apple Park of pre-COVID-19 2019 keynote

So, without an audience, is a keynote still a keynote?

Who the hell transformed the 260,000 m2 Apple Park into a haunted house looking for Steve Job’s ghost? COVID-19 for sure. Like in horror movies, the answer is arriving at the end (after 1h and 10 minutes of patience), in the end credits: this keynote has been done respecting distance rules, everybody was wearing masks even if you had not seen one and no animals were harmed.

COVID-19 made another victim. One of the arguments of 5G is about promising great speed in dense area like stadiums or airports. Unfortunately, nobody is going to crowded stadiums and at the airport anymore. Apple and Verizon: you’d better find other strong arguments to the Amish opponents of 5G. Gaming may be one, but not sure that this will be worth the billions that the telecos paid in auctions in several countries to buy 5G frequencies.

So, without an audience, is a keynote still a keynote? This was not even live broadcasting (although technically speaking, it was broadcasted live in YouTube to 2.6 Million of viewers). The video editing was so meticulous that it was like a Superbowl commercial. Or a movie at the honor of the iPhone 12 an its friend HomePod Mini. Nothing new: Lego did the same with the Lego movies. But, because of COVID-19, this is broadcasted on YouTube and will not be in movie theaters. Social distancing is king.

iPhone 12 Pro presented on 13/10/20
iPhone 12 Pro presented on 13/10/20

5G is two characters. ML is also two and it was frequently used during the so-called keynote. ML for Machine Learning. The iPhone 12 is equipped with a ML accelerator. It will allow you to do computational photography. Your iPhone with its embeeded AI (two letters) will understand your photo and make it better.

So, if you need 5G, ML, AI, 4K or whatever 2-letter based acronyms, please queue at the next Apple Store… respecting the distance.

Disclaimer: this blog note has been written respecting the distance with others and I was wearing a mask while typing. No animals were harmed.

Photos credits:

Capture of YouTube broadcast of Apple iPhone 12 presentation, October 13, 2020

Highlights from Apple’s Keynote Event, September 10, 2019

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