Apple shows that at 40, things slow down a little

Technically Incorrect: Apple's latest event was less eventful and more contemplative about gadgets and the world they inhabit.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


A lot of years, a lot of phones, a lot of worries.

Screenshot by Josh Miller/CNET

I watched Monday's Apple event while under the influence of nitrous oxide.

This isn't, I assure you, the way I usually start the week, but my dentist had summoned me at the crack of dawn for his sadistic pleasure.

I can't deny, however, that the nitrous oxide didn't help me get through an hour of solemn rumination on the state of the world.

It all began with CEO Tim Cook declaring that the government is after our freedoms. (But Apple will protect us.)

Then Apple's VP of environmental, policy, and social initiatives, Lisa Jackson, mused about how we, putrid humans, are destroying the world. (But Apple is helping to save it.)

The mood was hardly heightened when Chief Operating Officer Jeff Williams wandered to the stage. He reminded us how sick we might be. (But Apple is helping us get healthier, or at least helping us not to die so soon.)

It's little wonder that after expanding on all the perils in the world, Apple then showed us shrunken gadgets.

Think small. Small is beautiful. Go small and go home. The world's a scary place.


Cook mentioned that Apple will be 40 on April 1. When you get to 4o, you're not fooling anyone about your uncontrolled, rule-breaking dynamism.

He even went for the sweater look, perfect for this little fireside chat about keeping calm, carrying on and getting excited about a couple of new watch bands.

Monday's event underlined that Apple's gadgets are unlikely to enjoy radically new forms in the near future. Cupertino hasn't yet embraced the masked VR look.

If the gadgets were relevant at all at this show, it was only to encourage you to find new uses for them. So that you upgrade, you understand.

When you get to 40, you worry that you've seen it all. People start accusing you of repeating yourself. The array of middle-aged Apple executives who repeated how much people love Apple products was like watching a one-note barbershop choir perform "The Greatest Love Of All."

Forty-year-old Apple acts like it's had enough kids.

There's the MacBooks that have left home and started a family. There's the phone that's about to go to college, the iPad that's in middle school, and the youngest -- the Watch -- that's desperate for attention.

The 40-year-old dad is now going to let all these kids grow (and shrink) and find their places in the world, if they still have one.

You might have to be a spectator for a while. But don't worry, Apple will protect you from as much bad stuff as it can.

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