I watched the live stream of Apple’s iPhone and Watch product update presentation last night. Here are my quick observations (from a presentation perspective, not the products :-) ).

  • The slide presentation quality was incredible, a combination of great layout, great photography (editing), and importantly this massive, massive projection screen

  • The transitions between slides, videos, build ups, animations was very well done

  • Guest speakers were a refreshing break, small company entrepreneurs who get the chance to tell their story to an audience of millions

Watching the whole event, I felt that the overall presentation was a bit too long, a feeling that crept in towards the end of the iPhone part of the session. The Watch presentation had lots of new features (all the heart sensors), but the iPhone story was similar to previous iPhone presentations: bigger screen, more power, better camera. I think Apple could have delivered the same message in a shorter time frame.

The videos with Jony’s voice over were duplicating messages that were said before. In previous events I could remember, these videos would go into the details of things that were not addressed by the presenter (for example how to machine drill phone casings). It looked like the video and the slide deck were done by separate teams and their content were merged relatively late into the process.

From a content perspective, the difference between the XS and XR phones was left less clear to the audience. The presentation of the XR phone felt and looked a top of the range phone, so there was a constant voice in the back of my head, “hey this is the cheaper one, what is different?” In the end, I got the answer from reading press reviews rather than the presentation itself.

While the audience for the Apple Watch are people who do not own an Apple Watch yet and consider buying one for themselves, or their parents who are prone to falls or heart problems, the audience for the iPhone XS/R are iPhone 6, 7, and 8 owners. The comparison of screen sizes between the old phones and the new ones were powerful, and could have been emphasized more in the presentation, maybe.

The Apple presentations have become so professional, well-rehearsed, and in a sense “serious” that I am starting to think whether there is space for a bit of humor, human improvisation, a sentence that is not planned.

Anyway, overall this was obviously an extremely well-prepared event as we have come to expect with incredible visuals.

You can watch a recording of yesterday’s event here.

P.S. The product shots of the iPhone XS with the “planet” on it give the impression of a bulging shape from a distance, reminding me of the original shape of the iPhone 3, and going against the flat characteristics of the current product.

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