We've reached an interesting point in Apple's media-darling status when Joy of Tech runs cartoons in which journalists are driven to commit suicide on discovering that Apple will not be holding a 30th anniversary event. Personally, I'm there. I'm literally out on the window ledge. There is a collective fear that, come Saturday, the section of the wall-planner marked 'cover massive Apple announcement' will read like a cruel morality tale. Seppuku may be rather fiddly, but if Apple doesn't deliver, will there be any choice for the self-respecting hack but to die with honour?
In an industry that is largely uninventive with its showmanship, Apple knows how to draw a crowd. Companies like Microsoft rain screenshots of products like Vista for years before their release, but Apple sits quiet and tight-lipped. If there's anything that drives me crazy, it's a company openly keeping things from us. If there's anything that drives me foaming rabid, it's when that company is Apple.
Ever since Apple launched the 20th anniversary Mac, fans have anticipated a radical new Mac design at every significant milestone. Despite no anniversary Mac before Apple's 20th, there was plenty of speculation on their 25th that the company would release a 'special Mac' to mark the occasion, yet there was nothing. Now the company is hitting the big three-oh, it seems strange to imagine the event might pass without something to mark it.
As always, there are rumours of products: a touchscreen iPod here, a gamer's iMac there, an Apple phone -- but Apple hasn't announced a press event. Judging from the frenzy the rumour sites have built up, you'd guess that Steve Jobs will at least have to walk out onto the lawn in Cupertino, light a few fireworks and make some whooping noises. It's that or risk an international incident.
Screenshots of a new touchscreen iPod (most of them demonstrably fake) have appeared on MacRumors, along with an old patent Apple filed that might support this idea, while Mac OS Rumors posted a story on the rumoured iPhone. More fuel for this fire comes from Australian site Smarthouse, who posted a story earlier in the month suggesting Apple was sourcing parts for the iPhone from Taiwanese manufacturers. Unfortunately, all the other references to the phone also use this antipodean news piece as their only source. Predictably, dubious photographs of posters like this are also circulating.
As the blogging world watches and waits for what Saturday will bring, our sense of excitement is tinged with fear. The sash window is drawn, my rings are in the top drawer, I've written a short poem on a Post-it note, and iTunes is playing Counting Crows. The stage is set. Don't make me do it Apple, don't make me jump! -Chris Stevens