OPINION: Dear Apple, It’s Time To ‘Think Different’ & Surprise Us

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There is a scene in Gladiator in which Russel Crowe, playing the role of a Roman General-turned-slave-warrior massacres a group of opponents in a small arena. When the crowd does not seem to respond, he throws his sword at them and roars: “Are you not entertained? Is this not why you are here?”

An iPhone launch is beginning to give a similar feel. Yes, we follow it, knowing that it is special. But just as the crowd was expecting Crowe’s massacre of his opponents, there is a feeling that we know what’s coming. The leaks have been all over town and so much has been predicted/leaked that pretty much no matter what the Cupertino giant brings out in phone form on September 12, the chances are that it will attract “we told you so” nods rather than a surprised applause. 

It wasn’t always like this, you know. When Apple released the first iPhone, no one was sure about its design or specs. No one even knew what it would be called. Of course, it was a different time with fewer social networks (good old Orkut), but media scrutiny was still intense. And for a long time, Apple kept pulling rabbits out of its hat. You might not have always liked what was being presented, but there is a fair chance that you had very little idea about exactly what was coming. 

Fast forward to the current day and age, and the specs and design of the forthcoming iPhones have been “leaked” to every extent possible. From the colour variants to the shape of the notch to the kind of cameras and charging ports it will sport, everything seems to have been discussed to the nth degree by just about every tech guru and pundit out there already. 

ALSO READ: What To Expect From Apple’s ‘Wonderlust’ Event

Of course, unlike many other brands who serve up leaks and reveals as appetizers to the main course that is the product launch, Apple itself has not uttered a single word about the new iPhones. In fact, it has not even said if iPhones will be launched on September 12. But recent experience has shown the “leak” community being increasingly accurate about Apple’s forthcoming products. No, it wasn’t always like this either, you know. 

All of which has started to detract from the magic of Apple’s product launches. Yes, the brand still has the ability to pull the odd presentation rabbit out of its hat, as it showed us with the launch of the Apple Vision Pro, but the magic is waning.  

That is especially the case when it comes to established products like the iPhone, the Mac computers and notebooks and the AirPods. We still get the best presentations in the world of tech from Apple, but the element of surprise has started getting more and more faint with each passing presentation. The fact that a lot of leakers get things surprisingly right only makes things worse. 

This is why as the September 12 event looms large on the horizon, we are not going to come out with a spec or feature wishlist for Apple, but instead restrict ourselves to a simple two-word request: “Surprise us!”

We don’t care how you do it. We are not asking for something radical or crazily innovative, like a foldable iPhone, or a special camera unit that can be detached from the iPhone and attached to an iPad or an Apple Watch (though if you are bringing them, we won’t stop you).  

Even something as simple as differently shaped AirPods or a new way of unlocking the iPhone will do. Anything apart from the “we have a better processor/camera/battery and stronger than ever glass” readout is becoming the one thing that Apple rarely was: regular and predictable. The iPhone was always the phone that set trends. 

Of late, it seems to be increasingly following them. 

A change would be more than welcome. A wink of the tech eye to show the world that the Invisibility Cloak at Cupertino is alive and well, and as good at hiding stuff as ever. It might not affect the sales of the iPhone (there is a fair chance that whatever is released will sell like hotcakes), but it will definitely bring that element of mystique and magic back to an Apple launch. 

We are not saying no to better specs and subtly better design. Those are hygiene in today’s tech world. We are simply asking for a bit more than that, no matter how small. Something that the leakers missed. Something none of us saw coming. Something that makes our eyes widen in surprise, rather than just nod our heads in appreciation. Even jaw-dropping would work!

Are we asking for too much? Excuse us, isn’t this the company that ‘Thinks Different’?

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