14th December 2017

What was Apple’s greatest Keynote ever?

Earlier on this week I got around to watching the Steve Jobs movie. Not the one with Ashton Kutcher but the one directed by Danny Boyle. I quite enjoyed it if truth be told, even though I am guessing most of what you see is not what actually happened.


That is, except for the keynotes. Like most Apple fans, I have watched my fair share of keynote speeches, and what struck me about the film was the significance of them. The early part of the film centres on events around the keynote where Jobs’ launched the Macintosh, and concludes with events leading up to the iMac keynote of 1998.


It led me to consider – what were the best Apple keynotes of all time? A quick Google search later and a common thread appears. Firstly, all of the lists were dominated by ones that were delivered by Jobs. Top 5 lists tended to include keynotes that saw the launch of the following models; 2010 iPad and the 1984 Macintosh launch. The iPod launch of 2001 heavily figures but this seems to be as much in recognition of the product’s impact on the commercial success of Apple as to do with Jobs’ style.


A poignant addition to any list is the iPhone 4s Special Event that took place on 4th October 2011. This took place just one day before Jobs passed away and you can only feel for the team who had to deliver it under those circumstances.


The undisputed number one of all time is the iPhone launch back in 2007. Having watched the keynote again, it is pure Apple. Highlighting how unsmart smart phones were in 2007.  The iPhone really did change the game and, as Jobs said, it was 5 years in front of any other phone at the time. The innovative product, coupled to Jobs being on top form, it is hard to argue that this is not the best keynote speech ever.


It is interesting that, with the exception of the iPhone 4s event, I could find very little in the way of a post – Jobs keynote being highly regarded. Apple now tend to use a team of people to introduce products, and software at their keynotes. We have to admit to being fond of Craig Federighi and look forward to his segments on any Apple keynote. It does however, highlight how good Steve Jobs was, and that you need a team of four to replace him.


I am not sure if Steve Jobs was the first CEO to present a company and its products in this way. It is, however, very clear that he was great at delivering a message. If you watch any tech industry speech, it is hard not to see similarities between the modern-day CEOs and Steve Jobs.


What would you rate as the best Apple Keynote speech of all time? Are the Jobs keynotes so good because of his delivery or because he had some great products to talk about? The iPhone, the iPod, the iPad and the original iMac for example. Let us know – it would be great to hear from you.