Hopefully, the iPhone 12 launch has a nod to the gigafire raging in Apple’s home state


Tim Cook kicks off Apple’s virtual launch event in September from the company’s Cupertino, California, campus.


The camera for Apple’s iPad and Watch event last month zoomed around the spaceship-shaped headquarters, inspirational, thumping orchestral music playing as it rose up to meet the clear blue sky and shining sun before dropping down to a transition shot to find CEO Tim Cook walking the glass-lined halls of the corporate HQ. A large free-standing rainbow sculpture could be seen off on the right, in the center of Apple Park. With the invites for Apple’s Oct. 13 event out, you can anticipate the same kind of spectacle for the upcoming iPhone 12. 

In other words, picture perfect. 

It’s the kind of polish you’d expect from Apple, which spares no expense when it comes to presenting the image of flawlessness, whether in its devices or its product launches. The kind of cinematic approach Apple takes with its virtual product unveilings, which before the coronavirus were more-standard, keynote-on-stage affairs, has redefined what these online events should look like in the age of COVID-19. 

Heck, the zippy presentations and slick transitions even raise the question of whether we need in-person events at all (to be clear, I’m a firm believer that we still do). 

But the downside of committing to such slick presentations, which are often created days if not weeks in advance, is missing out on more-current events. That clear blue sky in the livestream was anything but at the time, with wildfires that have raged along the West Coast of the US, killing at least 35 people and forcing hundreds of thousands to evacuate their homes amid haunting scenes of red and orange skies and air