Where should I begin?
All good stories begin at the ending, and then provide context. This one shall not deviate from that mold. At the end of the Stevenote, Steve brought up The Great One’s favorite line: “I skate to where the puck will be, not where it is.” Apple has long been the company at the head of the curve, ever pulling the masses forward with their energy, design, with their joie de vivre and their incredible attachment to things electronic. The reason I’ve loved Apple always is for the enthusiasm with which they venture. They design computers and software (and phones, now) that have come to fit their lives, to enhance them through the adaptation of technology, both new and old.
Apple excites and entices. Apple enables. Apple makes products that let us take our stuff with us. First it was just music, with the iPod. Then photos, then movies and TV even. It became an amazing companion for the traveler, for the commuter, and began to extend the presence of the computer beyond the desktop or laptop. The iLife, defined by movies, by pictures and music, began to expand, and today it got another chapter with the iPhone.
Over the next few days, as people get their hands on test handsets (which I’m sure will happen at Macworld, I can’t imagine Apple doing something this big and then telling even the pundits to wait.), we’re going to hear a lot about the capabilities and features of the phone and their various merits and demerits, and all of that will be valuable. But none of it is nearly as valuable as the enthusiasm that was generated today. I haven’t been this excited about a product in a long, long time.
The message is clear to every other wireless phone company: start skating, you’re way behind.