The world will be watching tonight as Tim Cook walks on stage to an audience of some 2,000 journalists in San Francisco, and millions of eager fans watching his every move online, as Cook shows off Apple’s latest creation.
Tonight is truly a make-or-break moment for Cook. Critics have panned his safe and steady steering of Apple over the last two years. But an unease has grown as Apple hasn’t introduced a breakout new product since its late chief executive Steve Jobs launched the iPad in 2010.
Tonight Cook has an opportunity to silence the naysayers. While Apple rumours can typically get ahead of reality – forcing the tech giant to temper expectations – the rumour mill has been surprisingly silent about the star of tonight’s event.
No not the two new iPhones that Apple will unveil, coming in larger 4.7 and 5.5 inch sizes, but instead a revolutionary new wearable gadget about which few details have escaped Apple’s veil of secrecy.
The so-called iWatch will likely not even ship until next year – Apple’s supply chain has become such a prominent source of leaks in recent years that the firm will take the unusual step of pre-announcing the product, rather than risk a leak when its manufacturing partners in China begin churning out countless millions of the device.
Expectations could not be higher, details could not be more scarce, and now Cook must fill the gulf between expectation and reality with something truly amazing. The stakes for Apple could not be higher.