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The Secret Meaning Behind Every Apple Event Name Since 2001 – Review Geek


The Apple logo.
Apple

Steve Jobs set the standard for product announcements in Apple Events. His keynote appearances became so popular that fans dubbed his speeches “Steve Notes.” Now, it’s a tradition for Apple to send colorful invitations to the press members for upcoming events, with a tagline teasing what’s to come.

These little hints are often obvious, occasionally vague, and sometimes there’s no discernible meaning to them at all. And Apple never comes out and says, “This is what we meant in our clever tagline.” So, it’s left for us to figure out what the clues meant after the fact.

We’ve gathered all the taglines from Apple Events since 2005 to show you what the clues were, what products were announced, and try to explain what Apple probably meant by them.

Note: This article is exclusive to Apple Events. WWDC and Macworld product announcements are not included.

2001

The original iPod on a table in front of successive iPod generations.
Alena Veasey/Shutterstock.com

October 23: ‘Hint: It’s not a Mac’

While the tagline tradition started in earnest in 2005, we would be remiss if we didn’t mention one of the most famous Apple events in history: the introduction of the iPod. This device, more than any other, set the stage for what Apple would do in the second Jobs era.

The tagline “Hint: It’s Not a Mac” seems (at least in retrospect) to be an obvious signal that the company would venture into previously unexplored territory.

What was announced:

2005

iPod Video (iPod Classic) on a wooden surface.
Danny Chadwick/Review Geek

September 7: ‘1000 songs in your pocket changed everything. Here we go again’

Apple’s marketing campaign for the iPod included the slogan “1000 songs in your pocket.” The direct tie to the 2001 tagline indicated that a significant innovation in iPod technology was on the way.

What was announced:

October 12: ‘One more thing…’

In Apple vernacular, “One more thing” is the final segment of a keynote. In the context of this Apple invite, it could just be a nod to the catchphrase itself. But when you see that the announcements included the iPod Video (later the iPod Classic), you could read it to mean “Here’s one more iPod” since the previous Apple Event was also iPod-related.

What was announced:

  • iPod Video
  • iMac (with iSight)
  • iTunes 6

October 19: ‘We unveil Apple’s latest pro innovations.’

This one is one of the obvious ones. Apple showed off its high-end line of computers aimed at professionals. This event saw the last announcement of the Apple PowerBook before the company discontinued it the following year.

What was announced:

  • Aperture
  • PowerBook (with high-res display)
  • Power Mac G5 Quad
  • Power Mac G5 Dual

2006

First generation Apple TV box in a man's hand.
Wirestock Creators/Shutterstock.com

February 28: ‘Come see some fun new products from Apple’

There’s not a lot of nuance in this invitation tagline. This event saw some upgrades to existing product lines.

What was announced:

  • iPod Hi-Fi
  • Mac mini Core Duo

September 12: ‘It’s Showtime’

The “Showtime” reference appears to be a tease at Apple TV. And if you followed Apple news and rumors, it was an easy guess even at the time.

What was announced:

  • Apple TV
  • iPod nano (second generation)
  • iPod (fifth generation)
  • iPod shuffle (second generation)
  • iTunes 7

2007

Original iPhone on a closed MacBook Pro.
marleyPug/Shutterstock.com

January 9: ‘The first 30 years were the just the beginning’

While the iPhone was a massive game-changer in the communications and computing worlds, it wasn’t a huge shock when Steve Jobs introduced it. Reports and rumors of an Apple smartphone had been circulating for years. Everyone knew it would be significant and continue Apple’s trajectory as an industry trendsetter. And this tagline perfectly reflects that.

What was announced:

April 15: ‘Lights Camera Apple’

In a lighthearted take on the “Lights, camera, action” from film production, this Apple event focused on their media production software, Final Cut. Now one of the industry standard editing programs in Hollywood and worldwide.

What was announced:

  • Final Cut Studio 2
  • Final Cut Server

September 5: ‘The Beat Goes On’

Apple’s takeover of the music industry through iTunes, the iTunes Store, and the iPod redefined the company in many ways. The company often uses song-themed taglines when announcing music-related products. In this case, the hint alludes to “The Beat Goes On” by Sonny & Cher.

What was announced:

  • iPod touch
  • iPod (third generation)
  • iPod Classic
  • iTunes 7.4

2008

iPod touch on display at an Apple store
Hadrian/Shutterstock.com

September 9: ‘Let’s Rock’

“Let’s Rock” obviously refers to another music-themed event. However, it’s unclear if Apple was calling out a specific song, but probably not.

What was announced:

  • iPod nano (fourth generation)
  • iPod touch (second generation)
  • iTunes 8

October 14: ‘The spotlight turns to notebooks’

In this invitation, Apple seems to acknowledge that its beloved laptop lines needed some attention.

What was announced:

  • Nvidia GeForce 9500 MacBook Pro
  • Nvidia GeForce 9400 MacBook Air
  • MacBook (24-inch display)

2009

iPhone 3GS on a man's hand.
Hadrian/Shutterstock.com

September 9: ‘It’s only rock and roll, but we like it.’

Another music-themed invite for an iPod-heavy event. The tagline plays on The Rolling Stones’ 1974 song “It’s Only Rock ‘n Roll (But I Like It).”

What was announced:

  • iPhone 3GS
  • iPod nano (fifth generation)
  • iPod touch (third generation)
  • iTunes 9

2010

Man holding an iPad on a table.
DenPhotos/Shutterstock.com

January 27: ‘Come see our latest creation.’

Like the iPhone before it, nobody was shocked to see the unveiling of the iPad. Speculation, rumor, and leaks were common for what people then called the “Apple Tablet.” The tagline was a seeming admission that Apple understood everybody knew what was coming. But, they were astounded anyway.

What was announced:

April 8: ‘Get a sneak peek into the features of iPhone OS 4.0’

This tagline isn’t even a hint. It just tells you what to expect.

What was announced:

September 1:  No tagline in the invitation, just a guitar.

The lack of a tagline in this invite hits that Apple wanted you to focus on the image of the guitar with a sound hole in the shape of the company’s logo, indicating a music-themed announcement.

What was announced:

  • iPod nano (sixth generation)
  • iPod shuffle (fourth generation)
  • Apple TV (second generation)

October 20: ‘Back to the Mac’

This hint is easy. A Mac-themed event that saw the App Store come to your desktop.

What was announced:

  • MacBook Air (second generation)
  • iLife 11
  • Mac OS X Lion
  • Mac App Store

2011

iPhone 4S in a man's hand.
Danny Chadwick/Review Geek

March 2: ‘Come see what 2011 will be the year of’

Apple doesn’t give significant clues about what it will present in this event invitation.

What was announced:

  • iPad 2
  • iOS 4.3
  • GarageBand and iMovie for iPad

October 4: ‘Let’s talk iPhone’

It’s pretty clear what Apple wants to talk about.

What was announced:

  • iPhone 4S
  • iOS 5
  • iCloud
  • Siri

2012

MacBook Pro on a desk.
Nitchakul Sangpetcharakun/Shutterstock.com


March 7:
 ‘We have something you really have to see. And touch.’

“See” and “touch” in this tagline refer to watching television with Apple TV (seeing) and using the new iPad’s touch screen (touch).

What was announced:

  • iPad (third generation)
  • Apple TV (third generation)
  • iOS 5.1

September 12: ‘It’s almost here.’

This hint is quite vague, and it’s probably just hype language. All of the announcements were continuing generations of existing product lines.

What was announced:

  • iPhone 5
  • iOS 6
  • iPod touch (fifth generation)
  • iPod nano (seventh generation)

October 23: ‘We’ve got a little more to show you.’

Another tagline doesn’t give clues as to what will be presented at the event. It’s most likely a call to the fact that it hadn’t been long since the last announcement.

What was announced:

  • MacBook Pro (third generation)
  • iMac (eighth generation)
  • iPad (fourth generation)
  • iPad mini

2013

A Mac Pro with the case off.
Casimiro PT/Shutterstock.com

September 10: ‘This should brighten everyone’s day.’

The “bright” reference most likely ties to the announcement of the iPhone 5c, a budget-friendly smartphone that came in several bright colors.

What was announced:

  • iPhone 5s
  • iPhone 5c
  • iOS 7

October 22: ‘We still have a lot to cover.’

Like in 2012, Apple held this event less than six weeks before the last one, and this tagline is a signal that they’re still not done showing off their 2013 product lines.

What was announced:

  • Mac Pro
  • iPad Air
  • iPad mini (with Retina display)
  • OS X Mavericks

2014

Apple Watch on a Woman's hand
DenPhotos/Shutterstock.com

September 9: ‘Wish we could say more.’

Usually, when Apple announces a whole new product category, they drop at least some subtle hints. This invitation was the company’s way of saying, “We’re not gonna tell you nothin’.”

What was announced:

  • Apple Watch
  • Apple Pay
  • iPhone 6
  • iPhone 6 Plus
  • iOS 8

October 16: ‘It’s been way too long.’

Yet another tagline doesn’t say anything about the products to be announced. It could be for the third year running that Apple is ribbing the press by joking, “Hey, didn’t we just see each other the other day?”.

What was announced:

  • iMac (27-inch Retina display)
  • iPad Air 2
  • iPad mini 3
  • OS X Yosemite

2015

13-inch MacBook Pro on a kitchen counter
Danny Chadwick/Review Geek

March 9: ‘Spring Forward’

As time passes, the press invitations become less about what will actually be announced at the event. This tagline seems to allude to the event occurring one day after the Daylight Saving Time shift in the United States when people set their clocks one hour ahead.

What was announced:

  • MacBook Pro (13-inch Retina display)
  • MacBook (with Retina display)

September 9: ‘Hey Siri, give us a hint’

If you ask Siri this question, she’ll reply, “You can’t hurry news. No, you’ll just have to wait,” and gives you a link to the Apple Event webpage. Yes, it still works. Try for yourself.

What was announced:

  • Apple Pencil
  • iPhone 6s
  • iPhone 6s Plus
  • iPad Pro
  • Apple Watch Hermès
  • Apple watchOS 2
  • Apple TV (fourth generation)

2016

AirPods and case sitting on a table.
Mohd Syis Zulkipli/Shutterstock.com

March 21: ‘Let us loop you in.’

The “loop” in this tagline is probably on the Apple Watch Bands that the company launched at this event.

What was announced:

  • iPhone SE
  • iPad Pro (9.7-inch)
  • Apple Watch Bands
  • iOS 9.3

September 7: ‘See you on the 7th.’

Subtlety wasn’t a priority with this pun on the iPhone 7 being announced on the seventh day of the month.

What was announced:

  • AirPods
  • iPhone 7
  • iPhone 7s
  • Apple Watch Series 2

October 27: ‘hello again’

“Hello, again” calls back to Steve Jobs’s first introduction of the Macintosh in 1984. Upon unveiling the machine, Steve said he would let Macintosh speak for itself. The computer’s first words were, “Hello, I’m Macintosh.” The “hello” imagery has been with the Mac ever since. So, it’s not surprising that this was a Macintosh-focused event.

What was announced:

  • MacBook Pro (Touch Bar)
  • Apple TV (Television app)

2017

iPhone X on desk with lock screen showing.
Neirfy/Shutterstock.com

September 12: ‘Let’s meet at our place’

This event was the first in the newly constructed Steve Jobs Theater. The tagline is a pretty clear nod to the building named in honor of the company’s legendary founder.

What was announced:

  • iPhone X
  • iPhone 8
  • iPhone 8 Plus
  • Apple Watch Series 3
  • watchOS 4
  • iOS 11

2018

A man wearing a Series 5 Apple Watch
Danny Chadwick / Review Geek

March 27: ‘Let’s take a field trip.’

Continuing with location-themed event names, the field trip mentioned here was to Technical College Prep High School in Chicago. It was an education-centric event.

What was announced:

September 12: ‘Gather round.’

If there are any special hints to the iPhone, Apple Watch, or iOS, they’re hidden quite deep. This tagline is likely a simple call for the press to show up and listen to what Tim Cook had to say.

What was announced:

  • iPhone XS Max, XS, XR
  • Apple Watch Series 4
  • iOS 12

October 30: ‘There’s more in the making.’

This invitation doesn’t seem to contain a hint. But given that Apple wasn’t introducing anything new, merely continuing on their popular product lines. But it could also be interpreted to mean, “It’s only been six weeks, but we’ve got some more cool stuff to show you.”

What was announced:

  • iPad Pro (third generation)
  • MacBook Air (third generation)
  • Mac mini (fourth generation)

2019

iPhone 11 Pro Max on a stand
Danny Chadwick/Review Geek

March 25: ‘It’s show time.’

Recycling old favorites becomes inevitable at some point. This hint is a callback to the 2006 event that introduced Apple TV. So, not surprising when it turned out to be an Apple TV announcement in the mix.

What was announced:

  • Apple TV+
  • Apple News+
  • Apple Card
  • Apple Arcade

September 10: ‘By innovation only.’

There is no apparent connection between the text on this invitation and the products announced at the event.

What was announced:

  • iPhone 11
  • iPhone 11 Pro
  • Apple Watch Series 5
  • iPad (seventh generation)

2020

Justin Duino / Review Geek

September 15: ‘Time flies.’

The time reference is a nod to the announcement of the Apple Watch SE.

What was announced:

  • Apple Watch SE
  • Apple Watch Series 6
  • iPad (eighth generation)
  • iPad Air (fourth generation)
  • Apple Fitness+
  • iOS 14

October 13: ‘Hi, Speed.’

“Speed” in the tagline is a call out to the increased support for 5G wireless networks in the iPhone 12.

What was announced:

November 10: ‘One more thing.’

In another hint that plays the hits, this tagline probably highlights the fact that it had only been a little over a month since the last Apple Event.

What was announced:

  • Mac mini (M1)
  • MacBook Air (M1)
  • MacBook Pro (13-inch M1)
  • macOS Big Sur

2021

Apple AirTag laying on the ground
Justin Duino / Review Geek

April 20: ‘Spring Loaded.’

Unfortunately, this tagline appears to cite the time of year the Apple Event was held. The AirTags probably deserved to get a pun on their entry into the world.

What was announced:

September 14: ‘California streaming’

In a return to music references, this event tagline is a play on The Mamas & the Papas “California Dreamin‘” to acknowledge that this Apple Event would be held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

What was announced:

  • iPad (ninth generation)
  • iPad mini (sixth generation)
  • iPhone 13
  • iPhone 13 mini
  • iPhone 13 Pro
  • iPhone 13 Pro Max
  • Apple Watch series 7
  • Apple watchOS 8
  • iOS 15

October 18: ‘Unleashed’

This one-word declaration could apply to almost anything. But, in this case, it was to unleash the power of the new M1 MacBook Pro.

What was announced:

  • MacBook Pro (M1)
  • Air Pods (third generation)

2022

Mac Studio computer on a desk
Wachiwit/Shutterstock.com

March 8: ‘Peek performance’

In this grammar-bending event name, Apple singled that it would give journalists a glimpse into their most high-performing devices yet.

What was announced:





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