Change is supposed to be the standard ingredient in the tech world.
Yesterday, we were Chatrouletting, today we're Airtiming.
Yet there's something about Apple that's been quite the same for a long time. Under Tim Cook, the company wants to be even more secretive. This despite Cook's insistence that he's never felt the weight of stepping into Steve Jobs' New Balances.
But, though he has already shown slightly more civic-minded tendencies -- for example, in addressing the difficulties at Foxconn -- perhaps Cook might consider something a little more basic when it comes down to launching the iPhone 5.
The traditional approach has been months, if not years, of leaks and rumors. Journalists scrabble around to tabulate, justify or deny them all. It's little different from the nice people at TMZ and US Weekly trying to prove the pregnancies of Beyonce and Jessica Simpson.
It does have its own flavor of amusement. But, if the secrecy is being doubled-down upon, surely the information peddled becomes ever less accurate.
Why, then, not do something very basic and democratic? Why not film the birth and relay it to the masses? (TMZ would surely never dare.) Why not live-stream the iPhone 5 launch to the whole wide world?
It would surely make for an engrossing spectacle. Offices around the world would stop what they were doing just to watch. In distant parts, people could organize iPhone 5 launch parties, with whiskey, gin and ceremonial burnings of iPhone 4s.
Please forgive me, but for a company that is so committed to design, there is something faintly ugly about all of those journalists in attendance crouching over their little laptops, desperately trying to type 1,000 words per minute so that the obsessed and bleary-eyed can read what is going on.
More Technically Incorrect
It is faintly reminiscent of families in wartime having to huddle around a radio to hear the King's Speech.
With some of his pronouncements, Cook seems to have attempted to offer a more humanizing face -- for example, by introducing the idea of charitable contributions to Apple.
Wouldn't it be a fine break with the past to allow everyone who is interested to witness the iPhone 5 launch?
If someone would like to offer that there might be technical issues, well, there's an opportunity for a dress rehearsal. Monday sees the start of Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference.
Yes, it's slightly less pulsating than the launch of a new iPhone. But it's surely the perfect place for a dry run of a new way to present Apple products to the world.
It's not as if live streaming would be a revolution. But it might just be another way in which Cook could emphasize that Apple is now his company, not that of a departed legend.