Who better to sell Apple hardware to than developers? After all, they might be the only people who’ll buy high-end hardware.

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This year’s WWDC keynote was different. Very different, in that it was trying to sell hardware to developers at every turn.

One thing’s for certain – no one can say any more that Apple doesn’t unveil new hardware at WWDC.

In the keynote aimed at developers, we got a MacBook and iMac refresh, a teaser for an upcoming iMac Pro, new iPad Pro hardware, and the unveiling of the new HomeHub smart speaker.

Packed into the keynote was what would have previously been several launch event’s worth of new gear.

And this was in addition to deep dives into new iOS, macOS, and watchOS features. In fact, showcasing the new hardware took so much time that developer-focused features such as ARKit and Apple File System felt rushed, and resulted in a keynote that felt like it dragged on to the point of feeling like a hostage situation.

The event was so packed that there wasn’t the usual ten minutes spent on Apple congratulating itself for opening new stores and making billions of dollars.

It was as if suddenly Apple realized that the best way to sell hardware – especially iPads and Macs, two categories of hardware that have diminished in significance over the past few years – was to wave it in front of the faces of developers.

Well, who else is likely to shell out over $5,000 on an iMac Pro?

Right now I can’t figure out if this was super-clever, or really crass. On the one hand a lot of Apple’s hardware lineup had become old and crusty, and wasn’t up to the task of high-end stuff like AR and VR development, and machine learning, but on the other hand, cramming it into a developer conference keynote felt like it blurred the line between marketing and developer liaison.



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