By Dan Moren
October 31, 2019 10:00 AM PT
The Back Page: Transcript of the annual meeting of the Apple Department of Misinformation
Is everybody here? Good. First off, I want to begin by congratulating all of you on another excellent quarter. People have been tripping over themselves expecting an October surprise right up until the very last moment this month, and it’s all because of the hard work by each and every one of you. Sustaining that level of feverish anticipation is not easy, and you should all be very proud of yourselves.
Now, there are a few special efforts that I’d like to call out, people who’ve really gone above and beyond the call of duty. Janice! Are you here? Would you stand up?
Janice is our project lead on the 16-inch MacBook Pro Disinformation Initiative, which we’ve codenamed “the Holy Grail.” We’ve been working on this one for a long time, carefully plying analysts and supply chain sources with tantalizing details about a bigger laptop, and it has paid off in spades. Just this week, when anticipation was at its zenith, she slipped a screenshot of a keyboard with a new Touch ID sensor into the latest release of macOS. What a baller move. And that’s on top of that tweaked MacBook icon she hid in the Catalina GM. Wow. I mean, the sheer level of dedication. Have you seen the blogs patting themselves on the back?
But really, for my money, it’s all about her carefully constructed rumors of a return to scissor-based keyboard switches. You should see them out there, going bananas about this thing. Frankly, it’s a masterstroke—the kind of thing you see once in a decade. People have been downright salivating over their MacBooks for months now. Months. You should see the Genius Bar keyboard replacement rates. Anyway, I’ll be putting your name up for an Asteroid award for sure, Janice. Bravo.
I’d also like everybody to give a big round of applause to Luis and Sanjay—there they are, in the back! They are absolutely killing it on Project AirTags. Really, I did not think we could get the folks upstairs to sign off on inventing a brand new product out of whole cloth. Usually these things get nipped in the bud pretty fast, but you two have really gone all out backstopping this thing: government filings, app integrations, trademark deals. I just figured everybody would be all suspicious after the whole AirPower thing, but you still managed to pull one over on them. You know what I say: fool ‘em twice, shame on them again! I mean, have you all seen those mockups floating around there? It’s a thing of beauty. Simply tremendous. It almost makes me think we should take this upstairs to the product development folks! I kid, I kid.
Next up, please join me in welcoming a new addition to our team. Shirley’s still in the early days of the Fake Mac ARM Transition narrative, but she has done a fabulous job of planting these seeds, watering them, really gently cultivating the story. I don’t want to say too much, but there are a couple of secret podcasters that we’ve totally snookered with this one, and the stuff they come up with…I mean, if I didn’t know better, I would think we’d made it up ourselves. Shirley may just be starting out, but she’s a natural for this work: she just knows when to sit back and let it ride. I tell you, if you’re not paying attention to her work…well, then you’re smarter than those rubes out there. Ha ha ha ha.
So, as we roll right into the holiday quarter, we’re going to go into a bit of a holding pattern. You can’t push too hard while people are doing their shopping—it’s time to let them all stew a bit. That way we can come back fresh right after the holiday break, really make them regret not waiting on those purchases because of what might be right down the road. Just follow the classic “third-generation iPad” playbook and you’ll all be fine.
Lastly, before I let you all go, I just want to share with you a little news from on high. Tim wanted me to pass along his own personal thank you for a job well done this past fiscal year. He got a good laugh out of how long we managed to spin out the AirPods Pro story—Jamal, that was all you! That Photoshop on his Twitter post? You really had them Zaprudering the hell out of it!—and he’s excited to see where we’re going next year. Or not going, I suppose! Now have a great holiday season and remember the words we live by: fake it until we never make it.
[Dan Moren is the East Coast Bureau Chief of Six Colors. You can find him on Mastodon at @email@example.com or reach him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. His latest novel, the supernatural detective story All Souls Lost, is now available for pre-order.]