Apple has launched new additions to its iPod range and improved two of its working environments, iPhone 3.1 software is out, and joined by a new version of the iTunes store.
Only...there isn't much new in any of this. Let's take a look at the iTunes store first. You can now buy music in 'LP' versions, with extra features like little video documentaries. Well, forgive me for saying so but as far as I can see the company's been selling video for quite a while now. Adding the two together isn't new or revolutionary, and neither is adding art (I've had 'digital booklets' with downloads years ago). Yes it's a bit prettier and easier to navigate than before, but it's a bit like rearranging furniture. Convenient but not essential.
Likewise sticking a video camera on the back of an iPod. Apple makes a big thing of this and woo-hoo, so do many Apple fans. Steve Jobs himself made quite a thing of how they've been watching the Flip Video space.
This got me excited briefly I have to admit, because Flip has an HD model. High definition from something that small was...well, wasn't going to happen because it's not what was announced, this is ordinary if serviceable VGA quality video. Which is fine, but not something with any particular zap. The iPod Nanos remain serviceable and elegant and yes, there are some new colours, but that's about it.
And then there's the iPhone software upgrade. Apple fans will hate this but I've upgraded, had a look at the phone and - call me an idiot if you want - I can't see the difference. Apple says it synchronises better than it did, and it might well - as always, Apple, thanks for fixing a problem I didn't know I had. It was already working fine.
None of this would matter for any other company but Apple has built itself a reputation for making the next big thing. People were (ill-advisedly) expecting the announcement that the Beatles were available for legitimate download (on the day they released their remastered catalogue at great expense, yeah, that was going to happen!) or the long-rumoured Apple Tablet. Instead, the announcements following the distinctly dull Snow Leopard upgrade weren't actually much of an event.
There is nothing wrong with streamlining a Web design, adding an ordinary camera, all those things. But doing so with such a big event and jamboree about it is going to make Apple's events a laughing stock unless they have something substantial to announce next time.