September 15, 2020 Keynote Thoughts

Initial thoughts on the Sept 15 keynote: kinda underwhelming. There were a few notable announcements:

But overall…

Maybe I’m just getting bad at drinking the kool-aid, but parts of this keynote were downright cringe-worthy. I could barely stomach the “my watch can do that” ad; this was a total Homer Car moment to me. Shoving an endless number of tiny sensors into a gadget doesn’t make it a good, balanced product. Little moments in the ad focused on the “neatness” of having all these sensors and features, less on why the product as a whole actually exists.

I also raised an eye a bit at the Fitness+ stuff. Apple is offering a service that nobody else can because the hardware is just too locked down and restrictive. It’s almost the best example to date of the kind of stranglehold Apple has on the market, especially with watch (which has such poor third party support that it’s basically only a first party device). Lots of other players like Nike and Strava likely have more interesting products to offer in this space, but they will never be allowed by Apple to compete. This is a shitty deal for consumers, especially during COVID where these types of at-home fitness products could actually make a real difference.

I know I’m often negative about Apple these days but it is really hard to understand what the end game is here. If I fast forward 10 years, is my life just an increasingly-large pile of Apple smart products that I have to charge nightly, that only talk to each other, that only run Apple apps or approved apps? Tied to a pile of Apple subscription services that I pay for monthly? That seems downright dystopian.