Apple Keynote: what is it?
A new Apple keynote takes place this evening Tuesday, September 14, 2021 at 7 p.m. (Paris time). Tim Cook should finally unveil the highly anticipated iPhone 13. But what exactly is a keynote? We explain everything in this complete file.
Every year, it’s the same merry-go-round. September is an opportunity for Apple to hold his back-to-school conference. Admittedly, it is not the only brand to organize an event of this type, but that of the Cupertino company is a kind of media black hole which leaves only a vacuum around it.
Called “keynote”, this event has the air of a sacred ceremony. But what is it exactly? Where does this term now in common vocabulary come from, even in countries that are not Anglo-Saxon? How did Apple turn a boring paper conference into a date you don’t want to miss? Here’s everything you need to know about Apple’s keynote.
What is the Apple Keynote?
The term “keynote” is actually a very generic English word meaning “presentation”. As its name suggests, it is a presentation of key points that will be discussed during a conference. Apple appropriated the term keynote in 1984, while Steve Jobs presented the first Macintosh.
Since then, each keynote has been a real event. And the word is almost systematically associated with the Cupertino company for the general public. Apple broadcasts them live worldwide on its website, on Twitter or via a dedicated application on its devices (iPhone, iPad, Apple TV).
Concretely, the keynote of 2021 like that of previous years is a press conference in which Apple presents in order its financial results with key figures and its new “revolutionary” products. The brand then dissects the technical specificities of the products, punctuating everything with well-felt demonstrations on the most impressive features. Usually, these conferences are held in the Steve Jobs Theater on the Cupertino campus (before directly in San Francisco) and with the public. But since 2020, Apple is content to make pre-recorded videos for its announcements. A measure due of course to the coronavirus.
There are several per year. The first traditionally takes place in June to present new software (this is the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference), the second in September, just after the start of the school year, to present new products, including the iPhone. obviously this second session which has the most success. Later in the year, Apple does not hesitate to make additional conferences to unveil its new MacBooks or iPads.
The keynotes are punctuated, punctuated by a well-polished vocabulary to amaze the gallery. They have become real shows over the years. The staging is calibrated: a person in the middle of the stage, a giant screen and a well-highlighted product. It’s minimalist and grandiose at the same time, Apple’s credo. Note also that the word “keynote” recalls the name of the software used by the Apple brand to make its presentations. It is the Powerpoint made in Apple which is part of the brand’s office suite. An entire program.
An Apple keynote: a show often imitated, never equaled
An Apple keynote is a well-crafted event that is calibrated to the millimeter. It is part of all the brand’s marketing paraphernalia. Certain phrases spoken during these conferences have become true classics. Those of Steve Jobs remain etched in our memories. Today, it is Tim Cook who acts as Mr. Loyal.
We all remember the “A stylus? but who wants a stylus? ” during the presentation of the first iPhone by Steve Jobs (who had a lot of fun when a stylus was announced ten years later), or the “One more thing”, become a commonplace today (we will come back to this below)
The ingredients of keynote success: the vocabulary used, the structure, the demos. Steve Jobs has always wanted to make technology accessible and simple. The Keynotes had to be the showcase of this philosophy. On the giant screen, no frills. Even when talking about business. These methods are still used today.
The financial results announced at the start of the conference are therefore analyzed. The key figures are communicated. On the screen, one number per slide. The speaker gives the explanations in simple words. For product presentations, again Apple does not dwell on the details. Engineers who take the stage go straight to the point and don’t bother talking about technical specifications. The goal, it is to show concretely what you are able to do with this new iPhone. These presentations are served by live demos as well as videos. At the end of the day, you don’t know the product in detail, but you know what it will bring into your life. For all that is technical, Apple is satisfied with a slide summary at the end of the presentation.
These presentations have become real clichés. Today, all of Apple’s competitors use this model for their conferences. Tech is not only concerned, since these codes are for example used in the world of video games. Moreover, these events have completely entered pop-culture, parodied in works like GTA 5 or in the film Kingsman Secret Service.
One more thing …
It is one of the great traditions of Apple’s keynotes: the One more thing. A real institution, this is a last little ad that looks like the icing on the cake. Except that Steve Jobs sometimes took great pleasure in turning this “little thing” into a real bomb. We think for example of the Macbook Pro, Apple TV, Macbook Air and iPhone X which were part of these One More Thing.
Over time, this moment of the keynote has lost some of its luster – Tim Cook no longer uses it systematically. But every time there is one, it’s heavy. It remains to be seen whether this will be the case this year with the iPhone 13. Answer in the keynote of this Tuesday, September 14, 2021 at 7 pm!