If you’re anything like me, when you see the phrase “Product Keynote” you still think of one thing: an Apple event with Steve Jobs on stage. We are, of course, far removed from that era at this point. But it remains the standard to which all other product keynotes — including Apple’s current variety — aspire and are held… In the Jobs era, pretty much every thing else was a tighter package when it came to announcements and shipping dates…
That has changed in recent years at Apple, of course. The most notable example is probably the recent Mac Pro announcements (we still don’t know the ship date, by the way). But that was part of a mea culpa gameplan by Apple, having screwed up the previous Pro (and pro products in general) so badly. It was a “stick with us, here’s why” type thing. Then there is Apple’s new push into services, which included a slew of pre-announcements like Apple TV+ and Apple Arcade. I’m still not clear why they announced them so early, or that they should have, but okay. Most notoriously, we have AirPower, a product that was promised well-ahead of it being ready, that ultimately fell into the vaporware bucket, unfortunately. Again, that is the real risk here.
MacDailyNews Take: The further out you announce things, the more vaporware risk you assume. Some of these things (i.e. Mac Pro) require a large gap between reveal and shipping date for the reason Siegler gives. Others, like AirPower, are just perplexing. Obviously, someone with pull at Apple felt it was a foregone conclusion that they’d solve the problems in time and it went all the way to being shown at a keynote. Hey, mistakes happen!
Regardless, Apple is a huge company with suppliers all over the world and stuff leaks constantly now, much more than during the Jobs era, when the company was smaller and had far fewer supplier cats to herd, so some things have to be shown/leaked earlier, if Apple wants to better control the message.