In some twenty minutes, Apple founder Steve Jobs will unveil the company's latest creation, which has been the subject of broad and intense speculations over the last few months. Everything leads us to expect the announcement of a new product midway between an iPhone and a portable Mac.
There are still certain dull journalists and commentators who have not yet grasped the profound sense of the Apple phenomenon. They refer to Apple buzz as "hype", and they imagine that people who get excited about forthcoming new products are mere groupies or Apple addicts. In fact, this excitement stems from an observed fact: Apple products have a habit of being revolutionary.
Back at the beginning of the '80s, as a freelance journalist in Paris, I received an invitation from Jean-Louis Gassée to test a product from his newly-created company, Apple France. It was an Apple II computer. Jean-Louis told me: "William, this machine is going to change your life." Insofar as I was already enraptured by computers of all kinds (having started my professional career as an IBM programmer in Sydney in 1957), I half-believed Jean-Louis. Today, retrospectively, I can believe him totally. Apple products have indeed changed my life.
People are excited about Apple announcements for the simple reason that they suspect that new products, about to be seen, could indeed change their lives in significant ways. We're not necessarily talking about profound changes of the philosophical kind experienced when you read a book by Richard Dawkins, for example. Personally, though, I'm convinced that the two kinds of changes—the Dawkins revolution and the Apple revolution—are not actually as remote from one another as might be imagined. In both contexts, there's the same kind of spirit of change in the air.
Now, let's see what Steve Jobs is about to offer us...
BREAKING NEWS: So much more intimate than a laptop: