Apple's October 16 Invitation is Actually a Hidden Promise

This week, I was intrigued by a missive from Chris Maxcer, an author I've referenced before. This time, he posits that "Apple's 'Way Too Long' Invite Lands With a Thud." He's referring to the theme quote from Apple's October 16 Media Event: "It's been way too long," shown here.

I think the author has a point, but only up to a point. Sure, it feels like its been too long since Apple has updated some products: the form of the MacBook Air and a complete refresh of the Mac mini. Even the Mac Pro will be two years old next summer. According to Mr. Maxcer, the theme quote implies an admission of failure.

On the other hand, I think it could suggest that Apple understands that some of its products have been mildly neglected and is ready to unleash some crazy cool new stuff. Mr. Maxcer wrote:

I don't consider myself a glass-half-empty kind of guy, but I found myself immediately considering the products that Apple has been futzing around with when I saw the teaser invite. Turns out, there are plenty of Apple products that seem stale.

The reason I'm not 100 percent behind this is because all these Apple products are selling well and because if you ask the average customer who needs a new Apple product now, (except for the iPhone), they probably cannot tell you and don't worry about how many months it's been since the latest update. [That's what the technical columnists get paid to do.] Apple's average customers evaluate what they see in the store and whether it meets their needs. And so, I'm not completely behind Mr. Maxcer on this. (But the techy part of me says he's surfacing a good point.)

One more thing. Companies that make lots of different products, like Panasonic, Sony and Samsung, don't always make their products work together well. Apple is a company that makes sure all its products fit in with its technical and security architecture. Sure, Apple could have disparate teams run by competing, turf building VPs cranking out new products on a more regular basis. But they probably wouldn't all work so beautifully with each other.

In the end, Apple knows what it should focus on, what the customers need and where the money comes from. For me, the Apple glass is generally full, and when Apple says something like "It's been way to long," I'm looking for the fulfillment of an implicit promise: we'll get what we need.

Next: the tech news debris for the week of October 6: The glorious details of Apple Pay.

Page 2 - The Tech News Debris for the Week of October 6


This first item falls into the "We didn't check the law, and we thought we'd use some technology to frustrate our valued customers and make more money" department. It would be funny if it weren't so sad. "Marriott Illegally Blocked People's Internet Access And Charged Them Up To $1,000 Instead." This isn't the first time I've seen companies conduct a technology assault on customers for their own questionable gain. It's always in great contrast to Apple who makes money by delivering products and services that customers love. Marriott could gain from thinking more like Apple.

Apple is making dent in iPhone theft and the value of stolen iPhones. Jonnny Evans explains: "Apple has just about killed the iPhone crime wave."

Apple's Senior VP Eddy Cue introduces Apple Pay on September 9.

Apple Pay is a complex technology that surfaces to the user with a friendly user interface (UI). Regrettably, some people confuse a friendly, simple UI with unsophisticated or insecure foundation. In Apple's case, that an extra special mistake. And so if you want to really undertand what's going on with Apple Pay, I strongly suggest this primer from Yoni Heisler, @edibleapple, at TUAW . "Apple Pay: An in-depth look at what's behind the secure payment system." Here's a section worth quoting.

... the fundamental aspects of Apple Pay weren't concocted in Cupertino. Rather, Apple Pay was designed in accordance with an emerging token-based mobile payments standard which aims to increase security and reduce the incidence of fraud. To that end, Apple is getting into the mobile payments space at just the right time. So while Apple isn't necessarily inventing the wheel here, Apple Pay again represents the first real implementation, on a massive scale no less, of the relatively fresh tokenization specification.

When you stand up in front of an audience, try to be a guru and explain something fundamental, it's nice if you have a consistent story that's been run by your company's PR department. In this case, Google's Astro Teller tried to explain how tough it is to develop wearable technology. 

More specifically, I was amused by the take of the ReadWrite author Adriana Lee: "In other words, Teller is simultaneously saying that companies like Google should make it perfectly obvious what new wearable devices are good for—while leaving it to consumers to figure out what that is. Those are blindingly contradictory statements. And that kind of doubletalk may explain why Google Glass has struggled to find its own best purpose." But you be the judge.

It has been reported that Microsoft is thinking about changing the name of Internet Explorer. Ken Segall, an expert on marketing, has offered some thoughts on this, and they're worth reading. "When in doubt, change the name."

Along those lines... If you hadn't noticed, after the Macworld (paper) magazine team was laid off, the lead editor, Jason Snell created a new website, sixcolors.  One of Mr. Snell's articles caught my eye: "Windows X." in which he talks about Microsoft jumping from Windows 8 to Windows 10. One of the neat parts of the article, with photo, was when Steve Jobs brought a casket out on stage at WWDC in May 2002 and conducted a funeral ceremony for Mac OS 9. I remember that well because I was in the audience. What a memory.


Particle Debris is a generally a mix of John Martellaro's observations and opinions about a standout event or article of the week (preamble on page 1) followed by a discussion of articles that didn't make the TMO headlines, the technical news debris. The column is published most every Friday except for holidays.