Apple keynotes talk innovation but uses the same superlatives

Apple’s famous hyperbole factory works overtime


Apple keynotes
The iPhones may change but the words describing remain the same.
Screenshot: James Brown/YouTube

When you compare the iPhone 4 to the iPhone XS, virtually everything has changed. All except the script Apple uses when introducing its new handsets to the public.

This is the tongue-in-cheek observation of James Brown, a YouTuber and Reddit user who posted a video comparing the use of adjectives from Steve Jobs in 2010 with Apple executives talking about the iPhones XS and XS Max at last week’s new product showcase.

Apple tends to have its go-to buzzwords and as any fan who has faithfully watched product launches over the year, the words are easy to guess: beautiful, incredible, amazing and stunning.

Watches Apple keynotes closely

“Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge Apple fan, and I can’t wait to upgrade,” Brown writes for the YouTube post. “I’m just making a funny observation.

“I compared the iPhone 4 keynote to the XS because it seemed the most fair being the 4 was a successor phone. I didn’t want to compare a refresh launch to a brand new product launch.”

Apple’s keynote addresses and product introductions are often subject of snarky post-mortem exams. Fans are known to roll their eyes because each new iPhone is always the “best ever.”

Often, active users of Twitter comment in real time as something gets said. This year, a couple of bloggers chided Phil Schiller, vice president of worldwide marketing, for mispronouncing the word bokeh, a Japanese word and photo term that refers to the quality of the out-of-focus parts of an image. Apple has made bokeh a familiar word because of how the iPhone’s portrait mode blurs the background behind the subject.

The superlative count this year far exceeds the total from 2010. Jobs was rolling out a single iPhone. This year’s launch included three phones and several speakers discussing various features – which likely led to the increased use of adjectives.

No matter, each word had a familiar ring.

The iPhone 4, by Brown’s count, was ushered in with 28 adjectives. Amazing and beautiful were said six times while awesome was uttered five times.

The XS line received 129 adjectives. Incredible was said 20 times; beautiful, 18; better than ever, 12; amazing, best and remarkable, 9; better, 6; and awesome, 5.

Brown also posted the video on Reddit where one reader used a little math to determine the cost of each adjective has gone up in price.

Apple keynotes
Brown’s video on Reddit quickly started conversations.
Screenshot: Reddit

Others like zingw were a little more critical.

“The biggest thing that pisses me off is how Tim Cook continues to say ’It’s the most advanced iPhone we’ve created,’ zingw wrote. “Well you don’t say, your(sic) improving? I was expecting you to make it slower and dumber every year. He says it EVERY SINGLE YEAR!”

Source: DesignTAXI


Daily round-ups or a weekly refresher, straight from Cult of Mac to your inbox.

  • The Weekender

    The week's best Apple news, reviews and how-tos from Cult of Mac, every Saturday morning. Our readers say: "Thank you guys for always posting cool stuff" -- Vaughn Nevins. "Very informative" -- Kenly Xavier.