When a once-popular sitcom has gotten a little over the hill, a common trick to goose up the ratings is to introduce a new character—often cuter, hipper, and with no chance of catching the audience's enthusiasm. When the Brady Bunch kids were growing up a little too fast, the producers of the show brought in Cousin Oliver—and the show quickly ended. Towards the close of Happy Days, Fonzie's cousin Chachi crashed in. Even the Cosby Show got in on the act, when it brought on Raven Symone as Bill Cosby's step-granddaughter. The Simpsons even did it when Poochie came on board the Itchy & Scratchy Show.
So, with that in mind, let's talk about Apple's big announcement today.
Is the new Apple iPhone the Cousin Oliver of consumer electronics, the Chachi of communications, the Raven Symone of Silicon Valley, the Poochie of personal devices?
What was the first feature that Tim Cook wanted us to know about when he introduced it today live from Cupertino? What was the most important thing to know about the new phone? What was supposed to grab you from the very beginning? The colors. You'll have five options now: green, white, blue, red, and yellow. Worried that your old case will mean that you'll be hiding your lamp under a bushel? Cook quickly assured us not to panic—Apple is now making iPhone cases in matching colors too.
There were a bunch of other minor technical improvements as well. A slightly better battery—just the way that Cousin Oliver was a little cuter than Jan Brady. More pixels in the HD camera—just the way that Chachi was supposed to be a little cooler than the Fonz. Siri has two voices now—just the way that Raven Symone had a great singing voice. Sorry Apple, the new phone is pretty much the exact opposite of thinking different.
Wait, what's that? The new phone responds to your fingerprints. Well, this is a phone who gets "biz-zay!" Consistently and thoroughly.