Here we go again with the hidden meanings

Our publisher is still ill, thanks in no small part to him having spent lots of hours at work while sick earlier this summer, not realizing it was the building making him more ill with every breath. But we’ve already noticed the hoopla over Apple’s upcoming 2006.09.12 media event – a card that says “It’s Showtime” is now all but universally assumed to indicate announcements about digital movies.

And, for all we know, that may be exactly what happens. But, we asked ourselves, didn’t we go through some similar readings of the tea leaves not too long ago in an incredibly similar situation? Why, yes! Yes, we did. From MDJ 2006.03.15:

On 2006.02.28, Apple held a “media event” for reporters to “see some fun new products.” Even though that’s all the invitation promised, speculation immediately began that Apple was about to introduce everything from Intel-powered iBooks to the mythical “touch-screen video iPod,” inexplicably referred to by some as the “true video iPod.” Some people even obsessed over the iCal-style illustration on the invitation, wondering what it meant. (It meant “28 February 2006.”)

In other words, “Apple watchers” turned Apple’s simple media invitation to a product announcement on its own R&D Campus (not at Moscone Center, not at Flint Center, not at a trade show) into huge expectations for the reinvention of all forms of computing and entertainment. Then, when Apple did exactly what it said it would do and announced two “fun” products – the Mac Mini (Early 2006) with better entertainment features and the iPod Hi-Fi speaker system, these same “Apple watchers” were “disappointed” that Apple did not meet the expectations for products they had made up out of whole cloth.

We have no insight as to what Apple intends to announce in six days – but neither do any of these people trying to discern answers from the design of the invitation, especially given how far off they were last time. We’re just saying.