Executive Briefing

Apple’s iPhone and Watch event: What matters

And the key thing that went missing.

Apple iPhone 11
Courtesy Apple

Now more than 20 years in to paying close attention to Apple keynote events, it’s always interesting to find new evidence of just how big they’ve become.

Apple generally doesn’t share information about how popular its keynote livestreams are, even after it has spent the last several years stoking the audience with Twitter-based reminder campaigns.

But yesterday the company also streamed its iPhone 11 event on YouTube for the first time. And there alone, almost 2 million people were watching concurrently. That’s on top of however many were watching Apple’s official stream — potentially an equal or greater number. That’s a lot!

The full archived video also now has 2 million views on YouTube, an Apple Event in a flash highlight reel has 13 million, an iPhone 11 video has 14 million, and an iPhone 11 Pro video has 10 million. Pity the Apple Watch Series 5, with just 1.5 million views.

I think of this whenever I hear dated thinking about “normal users” versus “geeks,” or some other similarly phrased dichotomy.

Of course, different people have different levels of technical knowledge, just as they would about any topic. But the iPhone and Apple ecosystem is more mainstream than many realize. After hundreds of millions of people have used iPhones for hours per day for a decade, it makes sense.

The Apple Event itself is now cemented in popular culture. Really.

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Dan Frommer

Hi, I’m Dan Frommer and this is The New Consumer, a publication about how and why people spend their time and money.

I’m a longtime tech and business journalist, and I’m excited to focus my attention on how technology continues to profoundly change how things are created, experienced, bought, and sold. The New Consumer is supported entirely by your membership — join now to receive my reporting, analysis, and commentary directly in your inbox, via my twice-weekly, member-exclusive newsletter. Thanks in advance.

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