#TBT: Why Apple events are the World Series of tech journalism | Cult of Mac

#TBT: Why Apple events are the World Series of tech journalism

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It already seems like years ago that Apple unveiled its smartwatch. In this #TBT gallery, we relive the glory of last week's big event, as captured by award-winning sports photographer (and iPhoneography aficionado) Brad Mangin.

A security guard keeps a close on the crowd at Apple's iPhone 6 event.

Everybody wants inside the giant white building Apple constructed outside the Flint Center. These guys make sure nobody gets in early.

Anticipation builds before Apple's big event.

Phi Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of worldwide marketing, serves up the world's first confirmed iPhone 6 sighting.

The Apple Watch boasts several innovative features, including a "digital crown" designed to ease interactions with the smartwatch's tiny screen.

Tim Cook shows off the Apple Watch, which will be available in three styles. A wide variety of straps, colors and faces make the smartwatch extremely customizable.

U2, a band boasting a long history of collaboration with Apple, performs to wrap up the show.

After the event, members of the media get a closer look at the Apple Watch.

I finally get my hands on an iPhone 6 Plus.

As the hands-on demo sessions wrap up, a few people linger inside Apple's mystery building.

CUPERTINO, California — I’m a sports photographer, not a tech blogger, so I felt out of place shooting Apple’s big iPhone 6 press event with my iPhone 5s.

Baseball is what I do — I’ve shot nine Sports Illustrated covers — but I swear it was easier getting field access to shoot a World Series game at Fenway Park than dealing with all the people and security at Apple’s event.

This thing was a free-for-all. It was crazy. The place was flooded with media types from all over the world, all standing in line to get into the Flint Center for the Performing Arts, where the event was held.

Once we got inside, the vibe seemed bizarre as well. When you cover baseball, the cliche is, “No cheering in the press box.” At an Apple event, you’ve got a weird mix of players. Old-school hard-core journalists work quietly, elbow-to-elbow with new media types — bloggers who cheer and go nuts every time something is announced.

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it. It’s just a very different culture.

With a baseball game, either team might win. The game keeps you guessing. With Apple, there are no more real secrets: The bigger iPhone 6 models, the Apple Watch, even the U2 performance to wrap up the show — nearly every aspect of Apple’s unveiling had been chewed up and spit out by the rumor mill before the September 9 event.

Still, when Tim Cook paused after showing off Apple Pay and the words “One more thing …” flashed up on the screen? People went nuts. It was pure bedlam.

After that, Jony Ive narrated the Apple Watch video, confirming what at that point was basically the world’s worst-kept secret. The video reveal still managed to blow a few minds, thanks to the smartwatch’s innovative features and high level of customization. As the two-hour presentation wound up, Tim Cook and U2 looked tiny onstage from my faraway seat in the middle of the auditorium. It seemed like they were a mile away.

Afterward, we were all dumped outside into the hot sun, where we had to wait before we could enter the mysterious, top-secret white building Apple constructed just to demo the iPhone 6 and Apple Watch models.

While I waited to get inside the air-conditioned building, I saw some people that looked famous but I had no clue who they were. One of them was Gwen Stefani. I read US Weekly but didn’t recognize her. All I knew was this woman had white hair, tons of makeup and was dressed better than everyone else I saw. If I would have known that was her, I would have shot her picture and sent out an Instagram.

When I finally got inside after an hour-long wait, most of the crowd had gone and I was able to get my hands on the iPhone 6 Plus. This is the model I want, and I hope to get one soon. The camera is improved on both the new iPhones, and the screen on the Plus model is so large and detailed that video and still pictures look amazing.

The phone might be a little too big, but what the hell. I’ll swing for the fences on this one.