Wall Street loved Apple's keynote. Chris Taylor nearly fell asleep.

From Taylor's "In worst Apple event ever, the tech giant becomes a parody of itself" posted Monday on Mashable:

Everything old is new again on this Macbook. It brought back Magsafe charging (prompting the question: Why did it ever go away?), retains the more secure Touch ID rather than "upgrading" to Face ID, and still has the headphone jack that Apple took away from the phone after the late, lamented iPhone 6S. So let's get this straight: Touch ID and wired headphones are too old-school for the iPhone, but they're indispensable on a notebook the marketing team calls "game-changing"?

And if those questions hurt your head, don't even wade into the differences between the M1 Max and the M1 Pro chips. Is the Max for amateurs? Is the Pro not really taking it to the max? The way Apple chose to arrange its introductions, it was almost like the Pro became obsolete and was replaced by the Max during the keynote. Come on Apple, SNL did this gag a decade ago in a Weekend Update starring Fred Armisen as Jobs. Get some new material!

The keynote cut between never-before-seen Apple executives so fast, that almost seemed part of a self-parody too. The one who got the most screen time was also the one who introduced a wide range of seriously esoteric charts about CPU and GPU performance, then glared at the audience like we'd forgotten to do our homework. Poor old software chief Craig Federighi, daddy extraordinaire, returned for his first Apple event since 2020 — and with under a minute of screen time, he didn't get to crack a single dad joke.

Maybe that will change when Tim Cook-helmed live events return in 2022. In the meantime, it's Apple itself that is starting to seem like a dad joke, and a particularly stale one. The company is, at long last, becoming a boring, button-down tech conglomerate with snoozefest keynotes. At least it can always find comfort in the hardcore fans who will defend anything the company does — such as the one who slipped into our writer's DMs asking why we had to "shame the Apple cloth so hard." Somewhere, even the ghost of Steve Jobs is smiling at that one.

My take: Taylor, to quote J.J. Hunsecker, is a cookie full of arsenic.

13 Comments

  1. Alessandro Luethi said:
    If Apple is a dad joke, he is an ‘eternal teenager’ joke. But Apple sells quite a lot devices to real teenagers.

    4
    October 19, 2021
  2. Darren DMW said:
    Very disparaging to Johny Srouji, who has revolutionised chip design. So what’s Chris Taylor achieved?

    7
    October 19, 2021
  3. Tommo_UK said:
    Sorry I agree. The last few keynotes have been full of Microsoft-of-old like technobabble and too little of the charm storytelling and narrative of previous keynotes.

    Jobs would never have allowed keynotes broadcast live to the public to be dominated by this forensic and anal attention to irrelevant detail of the tech distracting from the products themselves.

    There’s a fine balance to be struck. The last couple of years have seen the tipping point and they are becoming a parody of themselves.

    Apple keynotes now remind me more of this classic (which was an internal parody created by Microsoft’s own marketing department to show their employees why Microsoft were losing out to Apple using the iPod as an example, IIRC):

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=yvh5k1RWER4

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    October 19, 2021
  4. Romeo A Esparrago Jr said:
    I’m not reading it. I’ll read Parker Ortolani’s take in Philip’s next post instead.

    4
    October 19, 2021
  5. Cy Manning said:
    One of the easiest roles in life is to criticize the work of others. This reads like facts interspersed to an article with the primary function to convey negative snark.

    Guess we’re all supposed to be impressed that Taylor is not only massively clever and creative enough to script and execute a better event, but that he’d be better at running Apple. All I can think when reading something like this is whether it’s a persona for clicks or is this person really the negativity nightmare to be around that they appear.

    For me, while the event was running I was thinking I liked it more than others as it struck a good balance for my preferences. Particularly, I very much LIKED Johny’s presentation (pace, voice, gestures, etc.) and the charts – I was thinking I want to see MORE of this guy. (Having spent a career successfully and unsuccessfully converting esoteric data into non-expert rapidly consumable information, I thought the charts were impactful.)

    2
    October 19, 2021
  6. Jerry Doyle said:
    Parker Ortolani on the subsequent blog had this to say about yesterday’s “Unleashed Event:”

    “…. I didn’t expect Apple to come out swinging today the way that they did. The new MacBook Pros exceeded my wildest expectations. Just about every single thing in them is brand new. It’s in an entirely different class compared to even the M1 Macs …… the new MacBook Pros are new in every single possible way. The displays are better than I could’ve ever imagined, and they have a notch, a first for a Mac. Head on, it’s unquestionably new …… the new MacBook Pros are new in every single possible way.“

    After reading the above by a reputable contributor to “9to5mac,” I have to ask, “Who is Chris Taylor?” And I may add, “how relevant is he?”

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    October 19, 2021
    • Bart Yee said:
      @Jerry

      Plenty of people in the comments disagree with Ortalani’s opinion piece, same haters gotta hate.

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      October 19, 2021
  7. Robert Paul Leitao said:
    Apple a dad joke? I’m a dad. This guy’s not funny.

    0
    October 19, 2021
  8. Michael Goldfeder said:
    After reading the article it sure looks like Chris Taylor was funneling material probably provided by Tim Sweeney. His fingernails, I mean fingerprints, appears to be all over this material.

    But who knows? Perhaps Chris Taylor came up with this creative self absorbed Apple negativity all on his own while nearly drifting off into slumber land.

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    October 19, 2021
  9. Ken Cheng said:
    Did Taylor forget he was writing for Mashable and not the Onion?

    1
    October 19, 2021
  10. Bart Yee said:
    Haters gotta hate. Meanwhile, Apple pushes forward on the MacBook front. Apple acknowledged it goofed up by bringing back features its users have wanted, and ditched a few they didn’t want. The Notch is now an Apple iconic look, despite it not having FaceID (coming as an upgrade or housing Center Stage tech when parts availability is better?).

    Mashable and the Verge function as the John Dvoraks of this era, curmudgeons for the Android crowd.

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    October 19, 2021

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