Clever, cheeky, cryptic: Apple’s most iconic invites to date

Read between the lines to see what’s landing come Thursday, 27 October

If you still haven’t realised by now, Apple has perfected the art of hiding in plain sight major hints about its product release right before your very eyes - in the invite itself.

Sometimes we think there’s an entire department at Cupertino dedicated to building the buzz by dreaming up the most puzzling invite - how should we outwit the journalists this year? To find out what's headed our way come Thursday, 27 October, we take a jab at interpreting the invite via looking back at these historical invites and the products they’ve beckoned forth.

October 2016

That’s no Adele reference, but a Macintosh one instead if you know your Apple history. Back in 1984, the Macintosh introduced itself at its own launch with a “Hello, I am the Macintosh. It sure is great to get out of that bag.” Yes, even before Siri was born. And then again with the first iMac in 1998 (jump to 4:41). 

So, it’s utterly appropriate that in the biggest refresh of the MacBook Pro line yet that this greeting makes an appearance. It could also be a reference to Siri’s new presence on the Mac with macOS. Will we be seeing all new powerful innards? Is that OLED touch panel going to materialise? Is this going to be another landmark moment in Mac history? Who knows? This could be Apple's best kept secret in a long while.

While the rest of the invite remains a little vague, it’s clear that the MacBook Pro will hold centrestage. Will it make as big of a splash as the first Macintosh did? We'll see. 

Verdict: Nice cheeky nod at the Mac heritage. We’ll have to wait till 27 October rolls around to see if our prediction that the MacBook Air will disappear (into thin air) comes true.

September 2005

Everyone probably thought the image was just there to correspond with the tagline, but little did they know how it massively hinted at the super slim form factor of the first iPod Nano, the product unveiled at that keynote. In fact, when it was first shown off to the public, Steve Jobs slipped it out of that tiny coin pocket and not the main jean pocket. How's that for nano-sized?

Verdict: Clever, slightly cheeky. Would be even cheekier if it was the back pocket...

January 2008

What clever invite integration. We had no idea that the name of the product was right there before. If only someone had made the connection, as impossible as it was at that time, he could have been the Paul the Octopus of the tech world.

Yes, that was when the MacBook Air was formally introduced to the world, and to this day, there’s still that something about it, being the laptop of choice for most tech journos in the field on press event days.

Verdict: Clever, cryptic. This was serious business, so less of the cheek understandably.

October 2008

Pretty obvious you would think - an event with a focus on notebooks and we were even offered a glimpse of it. And yes, this was the event where the unibody aluminium MacBook Pros were revealed. We enjoyed the cleverness of the image, showing us a little of what to expect yet keeping most of it still shrouded in mystery.

Verdict: Liking the connection between "spotlight" and the image. Clever, but not very cryptic this time. 

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