Stevenote is a colloquial term for keynote speeches given by Steve Jobs, former CEO of Apple, at events such as the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference, Macworld Expo, and Apple Expo. Because most Apple product releases were first shown to the public at these keynotes, "Stevenotes" caused substantial swings in Apple's stock price.
The final Stevenote was delivered on June 6, 2011, when iCloud (Apple's cloud computing service) was announced. OS X Lion and iOS 5 were also announced on the same day. It was one of Jobs' last public appearances before his resignation as CEO on August 24 and death on October 5 of that year.
In late 1996, Apple purchased NeXT, and Jobs returned to Apple after an 11-year hiatus following his forced resignation from the company in 1985. In mid-1997, he delivered a keynote address, with a detailed report on the company's status, featuring a satellite appearance by Microsoft CEO Bill Gates. Jobs announced a partnership with Microsoft with several key agreements which, according to him, would benefit Apple and allow it to recover from the prolonged decline of the early and mid-1990s. Two major announcements were made during the keynote: the next release of Microsoft Office (Office 98) would be developed for the Macintosh, and Microsoft's Internet Explorer would be the default web browser on Macintosh computers. Despite heckling from the audience, Jobs explained why the partnership was favorable to Apple:
The era of setting this up as a competition between Apple and Microsoft is over, as far as I'm concerned. This is about getting Apple healthy, and this is about Apple being able to make incredibly great contributions to the industry to get healthy and prosper again.— Steve Jobs, MacWorld Boston 1997 – Steve Jobs returns – Bill Gates appears on-screen, Mac History (6 August 1997), Christoph Dernbach
Jobs later gave keynote addresses at trade expositions and conferences at least once a year, in which he announced updates to Apple products or demonstrated new products and services. Nearly every product upgrade or announcement in the next 13 years was made during a Stevenote. Among products so-announced were the original iMac all-in-one desktop computer in 1998, the clamshell iBook in 1999, the Mac OS X operating system in 2000, the iPod music player in 2001, the iPhone smartphone in 2007, and the iPad tablet in 2010.
Stevenote addresses have usually been given at major trade expos. In the past, these have included the Macworld Conference & Expo in San Francisco and Boston, and the Apple Expo in Paris. However, Apple has stopped exhibiting at both expos. After 2010, the Worldwide Developer's Conference, organized and held by Apple itself at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, was the only major conference at which Apple exhibited and at which Jobs delivered a keynote address. In recent years, Jobs gave his Stevenotes in an auditorium at Apple's corporate campus. These Stevenotes, in contrast to those presented at the large trade fairs attended by Apple in the past, were by invitation only and were attended only by a relatively small number of journalists, employees, and guests, and were called "special events" rather than keynotes. Similar Stevenotes have also been held at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts like those for the introduction of the iPad in 2010 and Apple's "Rock and Roll" iPod event in 2009.
Jobs was known for donning the same uniform in nearly every keynote since 1998. His outfit usually consisted of a black long-sleeved mock turtleneck by Issey Miyake, Levi's 501 blue jeans, and New Balance 991 sneakers.
At the 1998 Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) keynote, Jobs announced that the company was back on track. He reviewed Apple's inventory turnover rate, describing changes in its distribution system and apple.com, its online store. Jobs said that Apple had sold 500,000 Power Macintosh G3 in its first six months, described the PowerBook G3 and showed the "Steamroller" commercial. He claimed that there were 10 million Apple computers in consumer use and six million educational users, and discussed the iMac and QuickTime; Jobs said that the International Organization for Standardization adopted the QuickTime file format as the basis for MPEG 4. Jobs said that Apple would add Internet "live" streaming (Real-time Transport Protocol) to QuickTime 3.0 for its release in fall 1998 and introduced Peter Hoddie, chief architect of QuickTime. Jobs described three improvements Apple wanted to make to Java: unify the Java virtual machine, make it compatible and make it fast. He announced Apple's strategy for Mac OS X, saying that the 6,000-plus good application programming interfaces (APIs) would be called Carbon (API), introducing Avadis Tevanian to demonstrate Carbon. Tevanian introduced Ben Waldman (general manager of the Macintosh unit at Microsoft), Norm Meyrowitz (president of Macromedia Products) and Greg Gilley (vice-president for graphics applications development at Adobe Systems), who demonstrated Photoshop. Jobs announced that the Mac OS 8 Codename Sonata would be released in the third quarter of 1999; Rhapsody 1.0 would be released in the third quarter of 1998.
WWDC 1999 was opened by HAL9000. Jobs delivered an update, saying that 3,106 Mac apps were announced since May 6, 1998 (the debut date of iMac); Dragon Systems was bringing its voice-recognition software to the Mac, and he introduced Janet Baker (co-founder and CEO of Dragon Systems). Jobs updated Apple's profits, units, inventory and cash, announcing that Sears would be added to its national distribution chain. Apple Inc. launched its store on Memorial Day 1999, and Jobs announced the PowerBook line. During the one-week conference, Apple gave away 50 PowerBooks to attending developers. Jobs delivered an update on OpenGL, Java and QuickTime, inviting Avie Tevanian and Phil Schiller onstage. Schiller demonstrated OpenGL, QuickTime 4, Sherlock 2, the Quartz graphics model, Finder and the MailViewer app. Jobs announced Java MRJ 2.1.2, the fastest Mac Java to date, and he and Tevanian demonstrated Java. He reviewed Mac OS 8.5 (released in October 1998), announced Mac OS 8.6, previewed Sonata (scheduled for release in fall 1999) and delivered an update on Mac OS X Server 1.0. Jobs said that in the Darwin open-source software program there were over 20,000 registered developers and over 175,000 component downloads, describing the three application environments on the Darwin-Quartz foundation. The first was Classic Environment (formerly named Blue Box); the second was Carbon (API) (announced at WWDC 1998), and the third was Cocoa (API) (formerly named Yellow Box). Apple was developing a new Finder and a new Mail.
At the August 31, 1999, Seybold Seminars Expo, Jobs delivered an update on Apple, announcing its June quarterly profits, the appointment of Mickey Drexler (of Gap Inc.) to the board of directors, and giving an overview of QuickTime. Apple partnered with Akamai Technologies as a broadcast network, with content provided by BBC News, Bloomberg Television, Fox News, Fox Sports, HBO, NPR, The Weather Channel, WGBH-TV, ABC News, ESPN, Rolling Stone, VH1, and Disney; new content was provided by Rhino Records and Warner Bros. Records. Phil Schiller demonstrated QuickTime TV, Sherlock 2, VoicePrint, AppleScript and the Power Mac G4, and Jobs previewed Mac OS 9. He demonstrated nine features: Sherlock 2, a shopping app; Multiple Users, with privacy and preferences for a number of users; VoicePrint Password, voice-recognition software; Keychain, with one password; Auto Updating, for the latest updates; Encryption, for private files; File Sharing Over Internet; AppleScript over TCP/IP, to manage workflow across computers, and Network Browser. Jobs reviewed the iMac, introducing Ozzie Osborne (general manager of speech systems at IBM) to demonstrate ViaVoice. Jobs reviewed iBook (showing two TV advertisements) AirPort (showing the AirPort Base Station TV ad), the PowerBook and the Power Mac G4, calling computer scientist Richard Crandall onstage to demonstrate the G4. Jobs introduced John Warnock, chairman and chief commercial officer (CCO) of Adobe Systems. Jobs showed a Power Mac G4 TV ad, and introduced the Apple Cinema Display.
On October 5, 1999, Jobs said that Akio Morita of Sony had died two days earlier, announced the Mac OS 9 and described the nine internet power tools. Phil Schiller demonstrated Sherlock 2, Multiple Users, VoicePrint Password, Keychain, Encryption, Network Browser and Auto Updating. Jobs reviewed the Power Mac G4, showed a TV ad, and reviewed the Apple Cinema Display, PowerBook, and iBook. He announced the new iMac, and Schiller demonstrated the graphics card. Jobs introduced and demonstrated the iMac DV and iMovie, and showed three TV commercials.
Notable keynotes after Jobs' death:
A typical Stevenote began with Jobs presenting sales figures for Apple products and a review of products released during the past few months. He then presented one or more new products. Reminiscent of Peter Falk's Columbo, he typically feigned some concluding remarks, turned as if to leave the stage and turned back, saying "But there's one more thing".
Some "One more thing..." segments featured:
|1998||MacWorld SF||Apple's return to profitability|
|1999||MacWorld NY||Apple AirPort|
|1999||Seybold||22-inch Apple Cinema Display|
|1999||Apple Special Event||iMac DV (including SE) and iMovie|
|2000||MacWorld SF||Aqua and CEO Jobs|
|2000||MacWorld NY||Power Mac G4 Cube|
|2001||MacWorld SF||PowerBook G4|
|2002||MacWorld NY||iPod for Windows|
iMac G4 (17-inch model)
|2003||WWDC||Power Mac G5|
|2003||MacWorld||PowerBook G4 (12-inch aluminum model)|
|2004||WWDC||30-inch Apple Cinema Display|
|2005||Press conference||iPod with video|
|2006||Apple Music Event||iTunes movies, Apple TV and John Mayer performance|
|2007||WWDC||Safari for Windows beta|
|2007||Apple Music Event||iTunes WiFi Music Store|
|2008||Apple Special Event||MacBook (aluminum unibody model)|
|2009||Apple Music Event||iPod Nano with video and speaker|
|2010||WWDC||FaceTime on iPhone 4|
|2010||Apple Music Event||Apple TV with iOS|
|2010||Apple Special Event||MacBook Air revision|
|2014||Apple Special Event||Apple Watch|
|2017||Apple Special Event||iPhone X|
|2020||Apple Special Event||Apple M1 Chip, and the first Apple silicon Mac models of the MacBook Air, Mac Mini, and 13" MacBook Pro.[note 2]|
|2023||WWDC||Apple Vision Pro|
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