I think it would be fair to say that people were pitching their expectations low when it was announced that Steve Jobs would not be doing the keynote speech in Paris for Apple; instead, Phil Schiller, the worldwide veep of marketing, would hold the clicker. What! No Reality Distortion Field?
But instead he had a quite different weapon: humour. Shows an iPod ad, with the dancing silhouettes putting whirling dervishes to shame: “I wish I could dance like that,” he sighs. Which is wonderfully amusing coming from this chubby guy. But it was just one of a long linst of bon mots (hey, we’re in Paris) through the speech. There’s the music store, with “groups like Maroon 5, Bond and.. Schiller”. Turns out there really is. Then he sits down to his first demo: “let’s hope the Demo Gods are with us,” he says. (Jobs would never, ever say that.) And later: “Here’s what we call Steve’s Feature” – and he shows the slow-motion slide of something or other. It all comes over as very subtle mickey-taking against himself, the objects, our perceptions; he shows a speaker that you plug your iPod Mini into and everyone goes ooh because it’s so vast on the screen. “Yeah, it looks like it’s 80 foot up there,” he quips.
It makes you realise how uptight Jobs actually us when he speaks, the constant tension that’s actually there even though he’s completely in charge. Schiller’s a stand-up. Well, he proved it.