No new iPhone: any different would have been a surprise

Across most parts in Germany, the hot and sweltering summer is certainly making its rounds yet again this week. Last night, however, the Apple iPhone remained approximately 9,000 kilometres away on the other side of the world without a sign of it making a comeback. Apple’s traditional September event in 2020 was anything but business as usual. Who would have expected anything else in this unexpectedly different year that is 2020?

There were no cool trailers to look forward to, and neither was there any flashy light show. In fact, last night was the first time when I refused to participate in this annual Apple keynote pilgrimage, which had become the absolute highlight of my nerdy tech life in the past few years. There was very little anticipation for the entire event with naturally, a little bit of drama, which is at the very least a reason to get upset about something on purpose.  There I go again with my typical German attitude – I had better stop ranting. What really happened last night during Apple’s Time Flies event was a constant dancing of fingers across the keyboard and capturing numerous screenshots, with the latter cluttering my already crowded MacBook desktop. What else was there? Oh yes, the adrenaline rush attributed to the demands of a free-for-all online journalism situation and pressure on myself to get the big news out to readers as quickly as possible.

My memory of the Time Flies event are far and few in between: the robotic, monotonous sound of the chat program of the editorial office that played out in the background from time to time, to iron out the crinkles in interpersonal relationships due to the stepping on each other’s toes during the event after a successful coverage of the event, and to be happy about the good work that we achieved as a team. We also received new smartwatches and new tablets from Apple.

Unsurprisingly, the new iPhone was missing. Shortly before the presentation of the iPad Air 4 and iPad 8 in addition to the cheap version of the Apple Watch as well as the new high-end Series 6, Apple once again demonstrated their prowess as what is probably one of the best marketing departments in the world, engaging the hearts, eyes, and minds of tech nerds worldwide – all without releasing an iPhone.Those who clicked on tweets that carry the hashtag #AppleEvent were more than happy to be greeted by a heart-shaped animation that matched Apple’s event design. A small, tiny piece of joy in times of darkness. Phrases like “Oh, it is time for Apple to shine again!” made their presence felt through the social networks, with social media users comforting themselves that there is hope for a brand new iPhone around the corner.

It would have been too much of course, or simply plain weird, should everything have been just the same this year, but on the other hand, I felt that out of all the companies worldwide, this is one US company that could have somehow managed to give us some sense of normality just before this shitty, scary year comes to a close. “One more Thing” was something that we would have liked to hear, just like in the old days. Back in the old days, when people wanted and could touch each other without a care in the world, when we were actually able to go out and about outdoors, when we celebrated life without a mask in restaurants, and when the new iPhone was released in early-to-mid-September.

Yes, it would have been too much of an ask. But iPhone fans worldwide will most probably benefit from this anomaly in the coming weeks, and then we can be sure that Apple company will have a few more tricks up their sleeves when it comes to the official presentation of the all-new iPhone 12. After all, it is the little things that matter – especially in a year like 2020.