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July was anything but its usual quiet self in 2021, and if Apple released very little new hardware, it still had a record-breaking month in many, many ways.
And it had Kanye West. A bit.
Launching and not launching
Strictly speaking, Kanye West’s launch of a new album had to be a spectacular failure on account of how it didn’t launch. And he was nearly two hours late to the much-hyped Apple Music streaming premiere. Plus, it’s not as if he said a single word while he was there.
Yet bizarrely, that premiere was an enormous success for Apple Music, breaking all previous viewing records.
The same happened with the new second season of “Ted Lasso,” as it was reportedly watched by more people than any other show on Apple TV+. Ever.
AppleInsider said back in the day, just as Apple TV+ was starting, that you just need one hit to make a service. Now Apple had it. The premiere of “Ted Lasso” was watched by six times as many people as saw the first season, and Apple TV+ grew its subscription base by 50% week over week as the new run started.
Apple still won’t give actual viewing figures, so saying a percentage increase is close to meaningless. But “Ted Lasso” is a tentpole show for Apple TV+, a hit that brings it attention and viewers.
The winners of the 73rd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards were to be announced on September 19, 2021, and “Ted Lasso” would do well. Back in July, though, you could probably get some good odds for or against Kanye West having finally released his new album, too.
It’s not all services, Apple still makes hardware
Apple still makes hardware, and Apple makes mistakes like anyone else. That’s surely why the German Apple Store app briefly listed an M1 version of the 16-inch MacBook Pro long before it’s actual launch. Not only was it listed briefly, you couldn’t see it without a very specific set of steps that, presumably, Apple’s proofreaders didn’t get around to.
That’s because this little extra battery for your iPhone 12 appears to be just that. Little. Yet in use, there’s more to the story, and there’s more to how much it can charge, too.
Speaking of charging
Insert your own pun here about how much Apple charges. And then ponder just how many people it has charged so much that in July, it officially became the first public company to be valued at $2.5 trillion.
The road to that valuation is paved with a lot of very good earnings reports, and July’s legally-mandated financial disclosure was especially good at $81.4 billion. Every single analyst expected Apple to rake in an extraordinary amount — and every single one of them low-balled it.
For once, nobody was especially predicting any Apple hardware launches in July, but the space was instead filled with rumors about products far into the future. Apple might be unhappy about it, but alongside the predictable “iPhone 13” rumors, we got plenty of “iPhone 14” ones as well.
Less predictably, though, we also got a new rumor about money. While most of the world is still waiting for Apple Card, the new claim was that we may sooner see something called “Apple Pay Later”.
Apple didn’t announce it and wouldn’t say anything. But the mere rumor of Apple entering what’s called the Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) market caused steep falls in the valuation of companies already doing this.
There are other companies
Apple did release betas of macOS Monterey, iOS 15, iPadOS 15, and so on. Yet, the big news about software not actually being released but talked about and getting into at least some people’s hands was all about Windows 11.
Parallels’ support for Windows 11 was coming, the online version was coming, Windows 11 itself was coming. And in July, users were going spare trying to find out whether their PCs could run Windows 11 or not.
Unfortunately, those requirements are such that even the users of Intel-based Macs have problems. There is a workaround, but the operating system isn’t even out yet, and it’s proving tricky.
Perhaps this year’s silly season was going to stretch out a little longer into August 2021.
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