Will Apple ever return to in-person product launches?

CM: Well, I will say that our readers love reading Apple news, and as a publisher who is a total glutton for traffic, I love producing stories about Apple news. So I would say no, I never get tired of Apple events.

LG: I am so disappointed by this answer.

CM: Sorry.

LG: I’m not mad at you, Mike. I’m just disappointed in you.

CM: Oh no, I’m sorry.

LG: No it’s fine. There’s still a ton of interest in these. I tweeted yesterday asking people if they wanted me to live tweet the Apple event, and I think I got about 500 responses and 80% of them were, “Yes, please tweet at About the Apple event.

CM: It’s funny because I tweeted the same thing, and I got 500 replies and they were all, “Please god no.”

LG: So with that clear answer, we’re now going to do a podcast on the Apple event.

CM: Let’s do it.

[Gadget Lab intro theme music plays]

LG: Hi everyone. Welcome to Gadget Lab. I am Lauren Goode. I’m a senior writer at WIRED.

CM: And I’m Michael Calore. I’m an editor at WIRED.

LG: We’re also joined by WIRED Product Writer Brenda Stolyar. Hi Brenda.

Brenda Stolyar: Hello. Thanks for bringing me back.

LG: Brenda, we’re so close, yet so far, I happen to be in New York right now, where you are. We’re just in different neighborhoods. And I just got off a plane and I might look a little different than normal.

BS: Yeah. I mean, you also chose… You kind of chose this day, I guess, but it’s raining a little, so I’m sorry about that. I’m sorry to have greeted you with sullen snow, rain, all the weather today.

LG: Its good. I like a gloomy day in New York. All right, let’s talk about what was happening under the Cupertino sun. So this week, Apple held its first product launch event in 2022. And we’ll talk about all the hardware details later in this episode. But first, let’s talk a bit about the event itself. Since the onset of the pandemic and the need to keep social distance from each other, these tech press events have largely been pre-recorded things. We’re all sitting at home, watching them, covering them, writing about them virtually. And this has its obvious disadvantages and maybe some advantages. Generally, these are very skilfully produced events. They are flashy. They might be a little weird. I’m looking at you, Samsung. But these are kind of these trailers for this world, this Apple universe, that companies like Apple want us to aspire to live in.

Then they’re like, “Oh, and here’s this shiny new iPhone. But this time, the tone was a little off. There is a horrible war going on in Ukraine right now, since the country was just invaded by Russia a few weeks ago, and everyone is nervous as tensions rise. But Apple, interestingly, didn’t acknowledge any of this, which was unusual. In the past, he’s occasionally spent a minute or two commenting on what’s happening outside of the Apple world, whether to acknowledge social upheaval or the impact of the pandemic on various communities. But Tuesday was all about the gadgets: iPhone, iPad, Mac, lots of chips, oohs and ahs, the whole thing. I want to have your opinion on this subject before talking about the new products. Brenda, let’s start with you.

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