First Click: bringing sexy back

April 8th, 2015

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Back in 2011, Mat Honan pleaded with the tech press to stop calling gadgets “sexy.” Use “desirable,” he pleaded, care enough about your audience to use the correct word. He’s not unright.

But a well executed product launch is like an exotic dance. It’s all about the build up, an artful sashay that should reveal just enough — and at just the right pace — to keep the onlookers enticed. Show too much, and the exhibitor is left with nothing more to sell. Show too little and risk the viewers feeling duped. Do it right, and the public will be seduced into making it rain on the first day of availability.

Apple’s long been the benchmark, of course. Products are rumored for years before details attributed to “people familiar with the matter” appear in print. Then there’s the bizarre practice of taking down the Apple Store a few hours before the official product reveal on a San Francisco stage. Next come the first carefully controlled hands-ons, reviews, another Apple Store outage, pre-orders, sidewalk campouts, and finally: sales. Steve Jobs may no longer be around but the performance he created has been institutionalized.

The Apple Watch is the company’s longest tease since the original iPhone. Question is: will it have the same impact once all the marketing is stripped away.

Five stories to start your day



  1. State Department hackers saw President Obama's private schedule

    A new report from CNN says the breach gave the attackers access to the president's private schedule, an unclassified document that nonetheless raises serious security concerns and highlights the damage done by even unclassified breaches. It also suggests the access may reach beyond the email system, as initially reported.

  2. Tron 3 will feature Tron: Legacy's stars as well as its director

    The stars of Tron: Legacy, Olivia Wilde and Garrett Hedlund, are clambering back aboard their light cycles for another Tron sequel. The Hollywood Reporter says both actors will star in Tron 3, due to begin filming later this year, with Joseph Kosinski returning to direct.

  3. Defector air drops The Interview DVDs into North Korea

    Lee Min-bok, a North Korean defector, tells AFP he's completed four balloon launches since January, with the latest carried out in the dead of night on Saturday. CNN accompanied him on Saturday's launch, which sent more than 80,000 copies of the Seth Rogen-directed movie and one million anti-Pyongyang leaflets across the border.

  4. This massive airship is getting a $2.7 million grant to revolutionize transport

    The UK's Airlander 10 — the largest aircraft in the world — is continuing to attract investment. The craft's designers, Hybrid Air Vehicles (HAV), have won a €2.5 million ($2.7 million) grant from the EU from a fund to develop green transport initiatives.

  5. HTC unveils One M9+ with fingerprint sensor and larger screen

    The HTC One M9+ looks nearly identical to the all-metal M9, but comes with a slightly larger screen and a fingerprint sensor beneath the display. Like all of Apple's fingerprint sensors and Samsung's latest offerings in the S6 and S6 Edge, the sensor works with a touch — no need to swipe — although how fast it is remains to be seen.

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