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Relive 13 Years of Surprise Apple Announcements [One More Thing Retrospective]



With another WWDC looming on the horizon and Apple taking the unusual step of pre-announcing things like Lion, iOS 5 and iCloud, speculation turns towards what we haven’t been told. At many Apple events the most exciting announcement is often that feigned afterthought… just One More Thing.

This year, the One More Thing is rumored to be the iPhone 4S, despite the fact that Apple has set the expectation that WWDC will be all about software, not hardware.

We’re skeptical, but to keep you busy speculating over the weekend, we’ve updated Cult of Mac’s “Just One More Thing” interactive timeline to relive the excitement of the last thirteen years of Apple annoucements.

A Detailed Followup to Wired’s “101 Ways to Save Apple” From 1997


Wired's June 1997 cover. Apple was in deep trouble at the time. The article numbers
Wired's June 1997 cover. Apple was in deep trouble at the time. The article numbers "101 way to save Apple"

In 1997, Apple was in deep financial trouble. Wired published a now-famous cover story: “101 Ways to Save Apple.”

Some of the advice was prescient, some was silly, but it was a fascinating list of suggestions. And what actually happened between now and then is even more interesting.

Here, for the first time, is a really detailed followup to each and every one of Wired‘s 101 suggestions.

1984 Alternative Version (The Woz rules the world)



Image © BasiCMYK

BasiCMYK is a talented photographer and self-described geek who was lucky enough to get one of the 300 limited edition PodBrix Young Woz and Jobs playsets when they were issued not long after the iPhone’s debut in 2007.

He’s also apparently a big Steve Wozniak fan, allowing in the description of the accompanying photo that “every time there’s a Stevenote I secretely hope The Woz will pop up on the screen.”

Something tells me there’s no limited edition Bill Gates or Steve Ballmer Lego knock-off playsets lurking out there anywhere.

Vintage Ads Bring Back The Good Old Days



Ahh, remember back when? When rumor sites didn’t exist? Where second-guessing the next Stevenote meant walking in the rain to your nearest User Group meeting, and having a heated discussion with your friends Gary, Bob and Bob about what future Macs might be like?

(And how you and Bob would disagree, and at the end of the evening neither of you had given way on the argument, so you said to Bob: “I’ll write you a letter to spell out exactly what I mean,” and Bob said: “Hey even better, you can send me a message on my new FAX MACHINE!”, and you felt completely out-manouvered?)

Ballistickcoffeeboy has a Flickr photostream stuffed to the brim with vintage Mac stuff. Adverts, screenshots, product pics, photos of his own kit, you name it. Go dive in and wallow for a bit.

(Photo of “Start a personal relationship at the office” used under Creative Commons license, thanks to ballistikcoffeeboy.)

OObject Lists All Your Mac Lusts



OObject is a curious bloggish sort of site where each post is a collation of objects, brought together under a particular theme. They have a whole category for Apple stuff, including the 19 all time worst Apple products, 12 blatant iPod knock-offs, and 15 best Stevenotes.

You’ll probably be most interested in the 15 best Apple product concept mockups, though. You’ll have seen most of them before, but it’s nice to see them all together at last.

The list of 20 famous Mac users could do with a little work, though: putting Steve Jobs in there doesn’t really count.

“Just One More Thing…” Timeline



With WWDC on the horizon, and keynote fever ramping up, we thought it might be nice to take a stroll down memory lane. The “One More Thing” timeline below covers every Stevenote we could find, focusing on the “Just One More Thing…” product announcement, with video clips for most of them.

Of course if we got anything wrong, or if you have additions, or clips we don’t have, please let us know in the comments, and we’ll get them added — Enjoy!

OpEd: Is the 3G iPhone a Red Herring?



Filed under: probably wishful thinking

It’s WWDC time, only this year something is different. Where’s the wild speculation? If patent applications are any evidence, there are many cool things brewing in Apple’s lab —but all is quiet. Where’s the hype that precedes any Stevenote? Oh sure people are talking, but only about one thing: iPhone v.2.0.

Personally, I think this whole 3G iPhone business is a red herring. Sure, it’ll be announced, and people will love it. But the leaks abound so much. I find myself hoping that it’s part of a disinformation campaign; to keep us distracted so we don’t guess to closely at what new cool products Apple might unveil, and that there will be a terrific surprise for all of us at WWDC.

It’s been nearly a year and a half since the “Jesus-Phone” was announced at last year’s Macworld and since then it’s been: all iPhone, all the time, everywhere. I don’t want to seem to hate on the device; the defense will even go so far as to stipulate, your honor, that the iPhone might be best thing that’s ever been invented. But c’mon! Eighteen months after Prometheus descended from the heavens, I’m pretty sure folks were like: “Uh… yeah… fire… great…”

There is definitely more to talk about. There have been some great things come out of Cupertino this year, heck, there is a MacBook Pro that you can literally give the finger to, and it will respond accordingly. Yet it’s relegated to a footnote in technological history.

Now virtually everyone, including those villagers recently discovered in the Amazon, who have had no previous contact with the modern world, knows that the new iPhone 3G is coming out at WWDC this year. Yet, Steve rarely (if ever) uses the “Just one more thing…” part of the Stevenote to unveil a simple product update especially one so obvious (I know that a 3G iPhone, with GPS, and built in margarita machine is probably considered by some to be more than an update).

So what do you think? Other than a iPhone update, what else do you think Steve will unveil in his Stevenote? I know what I’m hoping for, but like the time I got up the nerve to ask out Sarah Andrews in 10th grade, I’m also steeled for disappointment.