Why Apple should cancel Christmas

Welcome to our weekly Apple Breakfast column, which includes all the Apple news you missed last week in a handy bite-sized roundup. We call it Apple Breakfast because we think it goes great with a Monday morning cup of coffee or tea, but it’s cool if you want to give it a read during lunch or dinner hours too.

Festive chore

Regular readers of this column have probably guessed this already, but I’m one of those miserable Puritans who insist on waiting until halfway through December before putting up the Christmas tree. In fact, if I had my way—which, needless to say, I don’t—then our living room would remain tree-free until Christmas Eve, and it would be whisked away just after the kids go to bed on December 26.

What I can’t get my head around, essentially, is the idea that we’ve all collectively decided to sacrifice an eighth of the year to the gods of Christmas. The shop displays appear before Halloween, the neighbors put up fairy lights in time for Bonfire Night (November 5 for those of you in the U.S.), and by mid-November, all music has been replaced by Mariah Carey. (Things may be easier for U.S. readers, who at least have Thanksgiving as a sort of Maginot Line to limit Christmas expansionism… but I digress.)

Our beloved corporations, of course, love the idea of a long and all-consuming festive period, since it makes them so much money. But I can’t help wondering if there are downsides to spending so much of your year, depending on the industry, either releasing no products at all (because it’s Christmas) or releasing nearly all of your products (because it’s Christmas). Such a weirdly distorted schedule must put a strain on your employees.

Apple falls into the former group and generally wraps up its public announcements by the end of October. (In 2020, we got a Mac event in November and the AirPods Max launch on December 8. But that was a strange year in a lot of ways.) In fact, with WWDC focusing mainly on software and the spring event sometimes not happening at all, Apple often ends up cramming almost an entire year’s worth of hardware launches into a few weeks in the fall. And this is all because of the importance of the holiday sales rush.

For these reasons, Apple’s year is almost certainly over now, at least in terms of public launch activity. It’s likely, indeed, that we won’t hear from the company until March or April, when Vision Pro finally arrives in shops across the U.S. One report last week claimed Apple wanted to get it out in January and had to delay because of testing and distribution issues, but it’s hard to see why; most of us feel distinctly cash-poor in January and February, which makes a $3,499 product particularly hard to justify. Why are we cash-poor? Because of Christmas.

Maybe I’m in a minority of one here, but as I’ve explained before, I really hate Apple’s tri-annual bottleneck strategy. It’s feast-or-famine stuff: we go months and months with no news at all, then get deluged by too many products at once. That’s a strategy pursued by cicadas that want to avoid being eaten by birds, not a modern tech company that wants to shift units.

If Apple could convince itself to launch major hardware in a non-traditional month–May, for example–then journalists could give it the attention it deserves and consumers would have the money to pay for it. The company could even promote and discuss the product at its own detailed launch event without having to rush off and talk about the new iPhone.

It won’t do this, of course, because that product would be old news by the time Christmas rolled around and wouldn’t sell well. Which means that Apple needs to implement a radical strategy: It needs to cancel Christmas.

This might seem excessive, but I promise it will be worth it. Unless you’re Mariah Carey.

Apple Breakfast logo


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The rumor mill

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Software updates, bugs, and problems

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Apple is testing an imminent iPhone update to squash more iOS 17 bugs.

And with that, we’re done for this week’s Apple Breakfast. If you’d like to get regular roundups, sign up for our newsletters. You can also follow us on Facebook, Threads, or Twitter for discussion of breaking Apple news stories. See you next Monday, and stay Appley.

Source : Macworld