In 2012, other companies learned what Apple had long ago mastered: How you launch your product matters just as much as the product itself. What's more, instead of unveiling your new creation on a crowded stage like a huge trade show, you can maximize your buzz by staging your own event exactly when and where it suits you.
Samsung showed it had chutzpah when it launched the Galaxy S3 last May in London. A tight clamp on leaks got the tech press salivating early and Samsung broke with tradition by staging a global launch of a flagship device. Then the next month, Microsoft issued invitations to a mystery event in Los Angeles (of all places) where it eventually unveiled the Surface. Yet, it was Google that grabbed the brightest spotlight at Google I/O in June. To show off Google Glass, a group of skydivers jumped from an airship floating over San Francisco to land on the roof of the Moscone Convention Center as the opening keynote progressed. It was a spectacle, indeed -- and the kind of thing we might see more of in the future.