The world waits for Jobs with breath that is bated
Lovers of all things Apple are holding their breath until tomorrow morning, when Apple Chairman Steve Jobs opens MacWorld in San Francisco with a keynote in which they are desperately hoping he’s going to announce the world’s next super cool gadget.
It must bug Bill Gates that he’s never inspired the devotion that Jobs does. Geeks look at Gates with a certain amount of skepticism. He’s the guy who took over the computer world with buggy, clunky Windows – an operating system they disdain compared to pretty much anything else out there. Jobs is the guy who turned technology into something sleek, sexy and desirable. It’s George W. Bush compared to Barack Obama; Rosie O’Donnell compared to Oprah; Target compared to Nieman Marcus, although let’s be clear that I do really love Target.
Among Apple devotees, speculation is running rampant that the company will announce a 3G-compatible iPhone, movie rentals on iTunes (that’s pretty much a sure thing – Netflix has already adjusted its business model to accommodate this coming announcement), a Mac OS-powered touch tablet and so on.
Ok, I admit that the iPhone/iTouch could be the coolest gadget on the planet, however, I don’t really understand this fervor, this need to count down the seconds until Jobs speaks, this frenzy over possible keynote leakage on Wikipedia. Gizmodo will not only be live blogging Jobs’ speech as it happens, its few, proud and obsessed staffers plan to set up a few hours ahead of time and talk about … I don’t know what really. Geeks lining up outside the Moscone Center wearing Star Wars costumes and staging fake battles with plastic light sabers? It’s not the Oscars, people. There’s no red carpet and no one really wants to comment on what geeks are wearing. (Does Steve Jobs ever get asked ‘Who are you wearing?’ Somehow I doubt it.)
Digg – landing page for all things geek – has a whole page set up to handle the rumors, speculation, etc. about Jobs’ speech and MacWorld. Here I find someone who shares my point of view, estimating that there’s no way Apple will be able to top last year’s iPhone announcement. (Article worth reading: Wired’s inside look at how the iPhone came to be. While the iPhone is lovely, developing it got pretty ugly.)
But maybe I’m just bitter because while I love Mac technology, I’m never willing to step up and pay the extra bucks that owning the Apple brand demands. I lust for an iPhone, but I settled for a Blackberry (and yes, I am totally addicted. I read my email in bed immediately upon waking) because I didn’t want to pay $500 plus however much to switch from Sprint to AT&T. I would love a MacBook, but my HP laptop cost about half as much. The Mac OS is a far more graceful and less glitchy operating system, but PCs come with Vista so that’s what I’m stuck with. And I would love a video iTouch but I’m settling for my 30 GB Creative Zen because it was on special at Buy.com. Although it is pink, so at least I’ve got that going for me.
OK Jobs, bring it on. I’m waiting to be impressed.