More like World Wide Fail Conference


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While developers went home to sleep off their hangovers and get cracking on all the goodies with which Apple showered them at WWDC, pundits cranked up the fail machine. No iWatch? No television? No large screen iPhone? Why, it’s as if Apple announced nothing at all …

Zero items

Last week Apple showed off developer goodies like extensions, Touch ID integration, and a whole new programming language. And what does 24/7 Wall Street’s Paul Ausick say?

“Apple Announces Nothing at Developer Conference” (tip o’ the antlers to Federico Viticci).

Nada. Zilch. Zip. When you traverse the linked list of things that Apple announced at WWDC, you shall find it contains zero items.

It’s difficult to say whether the dullness we felt after the opening session of Apple Inc.’s (NASDAQ: AAPL) Worldwide Developer’s Conference (WWDC) was due to the fact that virtually every announcement had already been rumored or if the announcements were just dull on their own …

Or, possibly, you’re having a stroke. Or you’re just dead inside. It happens.

… new versions of OS X for the desktop, iOS 8 for iPhones and iPads, and a new HealthKit to watch you plus a new HomeKit to watch your home.

So … a lot. Now, you know that Apple is under no obligation to top rumors, right? Because the Macalope’s thinking that maybe you don’t.

Announcements of new features, no matter how cool they might be, are not the same as having CEO Tim Cook hold up an iWatch …

This is literally true. It doesn’t negate the fact that Apple made major announcements at WWDC and showed how it was going to do things differently than it has in the past, but it is literally true.

You might think that the WWDC—an event for developers, not the hoi polloi—is not the right venue for earth-shattering announcements, but that would be a mistake.

Oh, sure. Because it’s not like Apple could announce an event next week and the press would fly in from other states, countries, galaxies, and realities to see what it was unveiling.

If Apple had had anything big to say, we’d have heard it today.

If you don’t think the WWDC announcements were big, then you don’t know anything about software development. If you think Apple only announces big things at WWDC, then you don’t know anything about Apple.

What’s really boring about today is what it may mean for the expected announcement of the iPhone 6 later this year.

A lack of imaginary products today has dire implications for other imaginary products down the road. That’s just logic, people.

The date of the launch is now being rumored as sometime in August as opposed to late September and most people expect two new phones, a 4.7-inch and a 5.5-inch.

The bar has been set. If Apple doesn’t introduce two larger phones—a gigantophone and a colossaphone—then it will have failed us yet again.

But just being bigger is not going to cut it. Apple needs more than a bigger screen and a new operating system.

No, wait, sorry, the bar has been reset in the space of a line feed and a carriage return.

Home and health monitors are both good products and Apple needs to play there. Still, there’s no “Wow!” factor.

Unless you’re a developer. In which case the WWDC announcement were “ZOMG WOW I’M HAVING CHEST PAINS!” Look, it might be easy to think “Big whoop, I’m not a developer so what do I care about these announcements? How about a little sugar for me?”

Yeah, well, guess what: You like apps. And the apps developers are going to make using these technologies are going to have your fillings aching. From the sweetness. Still working that sugar analogy. So, yeah, these were big announcements for everyone.

Maybe that’s why these upgrades were announced today, to clear the deck for a really high-Wow-factor iPhone launch. Or maybe not.

Will Apple even still be in business by September without an iWatch?!

A Marvelous opinion

Guess who else thought Apple’s WWDC announcements left something to be desired? Yes, it’s Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry, he of the “Apple disaster” terminology.

“Apple’s big announcement: The good, the bad and the ugly”

There was ugly? The Macalope must have gone to the concession stand during that part. (Oh, Junior Mints. The Macalope cannot resist your siren’s song.)

We’ll skip the “good,” since that should be self-evident, and get right into the “tremendous Apple fail” part.

The Bad was that Apple didn’t make a new product announcement, and hasn’t made a new product announcement, let alone an exciting product announcement or a new category, in years.

Yeah, come on, Apple! What are other companies going to copy if you don’t redefine a market for them?! Ugh, jeez, so inconsiderate.

Now for the “ugly.” Can you smell it coming? Yes, it’s that word again …

The Ugly is the growing sense that Apple simply has lost its mojo.

MOJO. No, not the extra-dimensional Marvel villain

Wait, is it the extra-dimensional Marvel villain? That might explain some things.

But more likely Gobry is simply using a ridiculous and fabricated yard stick to beat Apple over the head. A-gain. Mojo, of course, cannot be measured, so it’s a cinch to claim Apple’s lost it.

As I argued last week, I really think that the Tim Cook era is going to be one of decline for Apple, as exemplified by the disastrous Beats deal.

Duly noted. And laughed over.

Apple has lost the “vision thing.”

Vision Thing? Wait, are we talking about Marvel? So confusing.

This is a hard thing to write. It’s a hard thing to write, first of all, because it’s been written countless times before and proven wrong.

But, what the hey! 9 millionth time’s the charm!

It’s also a hard thing to write because the opposite case is easy to make: even at its apex, Apple wasn’t making a revolutionary product announcement every year—most years it was just incremental improvements, and that’s fine.

Except for now, when it’s not fine.

You know, maybe it’s hard to write because it doesn’t make sense.

But this has been an unexciting WWDC after unexciting years.

If you were a developer, this would have been the most exciting WWDC since the advent of the App Store.

Today, Apple still looks like Apple, still tastes like Apple, but it doesn’t feel like Apple.

What’s important to take away from all this is mojo, vision, and feeling. Those are Gobry’s concrete pieces of evidence that Apple is on the downslide.

Hold the Mayo

Ask not for whom the Forbes “contributor” network clown car honks! It honks for thee, Apple!

Haydn Shaughnessy says “In Healthcare, Apple Will Struggle To Match Huge Samsung Ambitions” (no link but tip o’ the antlers to Kevin van Haaren).

Like in everything else, amirite?

Apple went public last week with its new Health Kit, the SDK for health applications on iOS 8, and its partnership with the Mayo Clinic.

For all the good it’ll do the company.

Rival Samsung, though, is already way down the road into healthcare on many fronts including the device, the platform, medical diagnostics, imaging, patient records access and more.

Sigh. Yes, again we see that Apple is Indiana Jones and Samsung is René Belloq and there is nothing Apple can have that Samsung cannot take away, blah, blah, blah.


Apple, however, is just launching into the health sector. Too little too late from Apple?

Again. Just like with digital music players, smartphones, and tablets.

But let’s be clear.

Oh, yes, let’s.

Samsung is well entrenched in health.

Like a deer tick. Why, look around! Healthcare is littered with crappy interfaces!

Its Note and Galaxy smartphones are now integrated with its own tracking device, the Gear Fit.

Which is used by literally dozens of people. How can Apple hope to catch up with that?!

… Samsung’s real ambition is “to become a global leader as a healthcare company through joining together its display, semiconductor, and mobile businesses”.

Allow me to quote this Samsung website. Well, we certainly don’t need any more evidence than that.

Through Samsung Medison and its core electronics business, Samsung has a growing business in medical imaging and diagnostics (for example in Ultrasound technology and X-Ray), medical Cloud, and in mobile patient records access within hospitals.

Samsung also has a weapons division, a mining division, and probably a human cloning division. It’s not the same kind of company as Apple. That doesn’t mean Apple doesn’t have something to offer that will make its devices compelling and continue to let it take most of the profits.

So Apple has moved into health …

Wrong! Apple has not “moved into health.” It’s been in health for years. Years ago, the Macalope’s vet/general practitioner once apologized for seeming out of sorts because she’d forgotten her iPhone, which had all her reference apps on it. Skin doctors are using iPhones with special cameras to look for melanoma, there are iPhone-assisted hearing aids, and professionals have concocted a variety of other applications. No, Apple doesn’t make MRI machines in 127 different screen sizes like Samsung probably does, but medical practitioners have relied on its products for years.

This isn’t new simply because you don’t know about it. To be fair, though, it’s hard to find out about these things when all your information comes from Samsung marketing materials.

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