Apple’s newest product launch was also its least surprising.
Under Steve Jobs, the company forged a reputation for secrecy.
But when the latest iPhones were revealed about 0330 AEST, what also became clear was that the Apple-watchers had been spot-on, on the back of numerous leaks.
Nothing Apple chief Tim Cook unveiled from Apple’s California HQ overnight came as a big surprise.
As predicted, Cook introduced two new lines of iPhone – one a faster, snazzier version of the iPhone 5, called the 5S; the other a cheaper plastic-shelled model called the 5C.
Pundits called it all – from the colours of the 5C’s shells to the fingerprint security sensor and gold colouring of the 5S.
Sonny Dickson, who runs a self-titled Apple blog from suburban Melbourne, said he was so sure of what Apple would reveal he hadn’t even bothered to get out of bed for the announcement.
“I knew everything was coming,” he said in an email.
Dickson had been instrumental in revealing Apple’s plans. He is well-known in tech circles for publishing pictures of leaked parts and prototypes which he sources from Chinese contacts working in Apple’s manufacturing chain.
In August, Dickson got his hands on the 5C’s colourful casing, and the gold-coloured 5S shell. Then last week, he published high-res images of the 5S’s fingerprint scanner.
In three leaks, Dickson revealed three of Apple’s signature innovations before the company had the chance.
A new, faster processing chip in the 5S was to be expected, he said. Apple always boosts the chips when it upgrades its iPhones.
A beta version of iOS 7, Apple’s new operating system to be released on September 18, had hinted at camera improvements, Dickson said.
He called Apple’s latest launch the most-leaked ever, spurred by himself and other bloggers.
Several leaks were published on Chinese sites and then picked up elsewhere.
Then days before the launch, a Chinese telco accidentally published an advertisement for advanced orders of the phones.
Apple-watcher Jonathan Stewart, the editor of specialist Apple website Macworld Australia, said the launch was one of Apple’s “most correctly predicted events”.
“In recent times the hype and surprise of Apple events has diminished with the increasing levels of correct rumours and speculation in the lead-up to the events.”
But he said Apple was unlikely to be fazed.
“While it certainly takes some fun out of the launches, it also keeps Apple in the spotlight and in the conversation.”