As Tuesday's Apple event gets under way and journalists from all over the world are waiting with bated breath to see what Steve Jobs has to say, it's abundantly clear that the vast majority of people going and those who read the news, will be disappointed.
No, it's not because Apple will waste time or that all those people are Windows fanboys and want nothing to do with Apple. Instead, it's because Apple, unlike every other company in the technology industry, has created such a hype machine that unless it offers something major like a touch-screen Mac or a new iPhone, it'll disappoint even the most giddy fanboy.
See, the problem with Apple's success is that it's expected to keep up with it. How many times has the company announced a press event, carted Jobs onstage, who then announced a few minor upgrades, only to see less than shining press opinions later on because it wasn't "newsworthy" enough? Probably more times than we can count.
Apple's success over the past few years has revolved around these press events. The company has consistently made huge announcements at Macworld and other assorted locales over the years. But in recent years, it hasn't. Not because it's failing to release good products, but because it's so difficult to create and release groundbreaking products every few months.
But it's Apple's fault that all this happened. The company is big on these events and it does its best to build up the hype around each of them. I can't blame it--it's in the business of good coverage and big profits and the best way to do that is to build up some serious hype.
But because it relies on these events so much, the very thing that makes it successful is also becoming a problem. How can you satisfy the press and make sure that they continue building the hype, while ensuring that the right products are made available at the right time? After all, doesn't Apple have a responsibility to its shareholders first?
So when Jobs takes the stage Tuesday, he'll probably show off some nominal upgrades that the majority of the press will scoff at. But can we really expect Jobs to do anything more than that? He can't come up with new, innovative products every few months and he has a vested interest in seeing existing products succeed.
What's the solution to this dilemma? Evidently, Apple has already made the decision on how to handle it: keep building hype, keep holding these events, and don't worry about some cynical posts about the released products. With a few major announcements every few years, the press will keep coming back.
And who can argue with the logic? It's worked so far and there's no indication, judging by the coverage, that it'll slow down anytime soon.