From today's press release touting the fact that Apple has sold a pant-load of iPads: "One million iPads in 28 days-that's less than half of the 74 days it took to achieve this milestone with iPhone," said Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO. "Demand continues to exceed supply and we're working hard to get this magical product into the hands of even more customers."
A remarkable record, to be certain ... but that's one more "magical" than I'm willing to suffer in silence.
The first was grating enough, but we let it slide out of respect for the company's legacy of innovation and recognition that marketers will do what marketers will do. It was Jan. 27 and Jobs announced to the world: "iPad is our most advanced technology in a magical and revolutionary device at an unbelievable price."
Just in case anyone missed the point, one of the headlines on that release also used "magical" ... as well as "revolutionary" and "unbelievable."
Unfortunately, this was to portend a trend. On March 5, Apple announced a shipment date for its magical (and revolutionary and unbelievable) device: "Apple today announced that its magical and revolutionary iPad will be available in the US on Saturday, April 3, for Wi-Fi models and in late April for Wi-Fi + 3G models. In addition, all models of iPad will be available in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, Switzerland and the UK in late April."
Alas it turned out that the latter promise was illusionary, as international shipments were to be delayed due to supply shortages. At least Apple had the good sense to stow the magic when delivering that bit of disappointing news.
And they wouldn't dare inject magic into that most staid of corporate communications, the press release for its quarterly earnings report, would they? Well, yes and no. The quote from Jobs has nothing but a revolutionary up its sleeve: "We're thrilled to report our best non-holiday quarter ever, with revenues up 49 percent and profits up 90 percent. We've launched our revolutionary new iPad and users are loving it, and we have several more extraordinary products in the pipeline for this year."
However, by this time the word "magical" has crept into Apple's boilerplate, those standard paragraphs of corporate yada-yada-yadas that can be found at the bottom of any large company's press releases: "Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store, has reinvented the mobile phone with its revolutionary iPhone and App Store, and has recently introduced its magical iPad which is defining the future of mobile media and computing devices."
And so now you'll read of iPad's magical powers when Apple announces the premiere of movies on the iTunes store in France (or Ireland); the date of the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference; or an update of its MacBook Pro line.
In football, over-exuberant end-zone celebrants are told to act as though they've been there before.
Apple's been there before ... without magic.
(Update: Seems I'm not the only one to have this thought today; CrunchGear's John Biggs echoes the sentiment here.)
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