Steve Jobs Keynote Not Without SNAFUs

Apple announced the much anticipated iPhone 4 today during Steve Jobs’ keynote address at the World Wide Developer’s Conference. His keynotes are legendary and draw a worldwide live audience via unofficial audio and video feeds. Several tech sites covered it on their live blogs with photos and text updates. In order to push this content out to the Apple newshounds, hundreds of people in the exhibition hall had their cellular Wi-Fi devices running and this time all those radio signals got in the way of Jobs’ presentation. As he was trying to show off the quality of the new screen by surfing to web various sites he could not connect to the Internet.

Image from Engadget

“I’m afraid we have a problem and I’m not going to be able to show you much today… let’s just go take a look at some photos here… take a look at that,” Jobs said with some likely embarrassment as he showed the crowd some photos and text on the new higher res screen.

Let’s hope this is not a sign of the signal quality in the new phone’s upgraded receptivity.

These kinds of problems are not new to keynotes. Recently Google had trouble at their I/O conference keynote too as all the Bluetooth devices in the room interfered with the on stage keyboard being used to demonstrate the company’s Google TV device. As I was keeping tabs on the event via they commented on how they would hate to be whomever was in charge of making that section of Jobs’ demo work.

Jobs asled the audience members to turn off their Wi-Fi devices. Of course many of the live blogs disregarded the “command”  or found a new ways to update their blogs with both pictures and text. was following an audio feed of the event and almost immediately after Job’s request it went down. For those listening via their coverage the announcement suddenly felt very old fashioned. When some in the hall were not complying with his directive he said, “I’ve got time,” signalling he was willing to wait for the audience members to turn off their devices.

It is a wonder why Apple does not want this to go out live in a way they can control. Could you imagine another company announcing a new product that commanded this much attention and muting the coverage by not allowing people to send information out all over the world? Most companies would pay a lot for the free attention the bloggers and people like us give them.