Apple Event 2016: Sia Performs, Tim Cook + Pharrell ‘Carpool Karaoke’, iPhone 7 Revealed
Much of the buzz leading up to the 2017 Apple Event was over (now confirmed) rumors that the iPhone 7 would have no headphone jack, boldly — hastily? — leading the charge into a fully wireless user experience. But as anyone who's seen one of the tech giant's events knows, you BUILD to the big reveal. As such, Apple CEO Tim Cook kicked off the September 7 keynote with a trip in James Corden's Carpool Karaoke ride — and the two were soon joined by Pharrell Williams, for some reason!
OneRepublic seemed a bit of a random choice to close September 2015's Apple Event, but Tim Cook then referred to them as "one of my absolute favorite bands." Cook reaffirmed his standom by belting out a song from the group alongside Corden, before Pharrell jumped into the car to put on some party-bus "funky eyewear" and sing Lynyrd Skynryd's "Sweet Home Alabama" with them. Huh?
As Cook reminded the audience when he took the stage, the bit wasn't as random as it seemed: Variety reported that Apple Music ordered a full Carpool Karaoke stand-alone series in July.
Right as the tech giant was announcing its new, water-resistant Apple Watch, news of the new iPhone 7 leaked on Twitter sooner than they'd planned, as eagle-eyed Engadget caught. Phil Schiller presented the iPhone 7's new features soon afterward, including stereo-quality speakers and (praise be) a water-resistant body.
Schiller also listed the features of the iPhone 7's improved camera, deeming it "a super computer that takes pictures." So...a digital camera? Meanwhile, the iPhone 7 Plus will have TWO cameras.
And no, the iPhone 7 won't come with a headphone jack...BUT, they'll include a lightning cord adapter for those who aren't ready to give up the "analog" headphones they love. The company also unveiled their new, custom-tech Apple AirPods headphones, which most of Twitter is already convinced they'd lose immediately.
"It makes no sense to tether ourselves to these mobile devices," Schiller insists. Will consumers (literally) buy into a headphone jack-less experience? Will you?
They're certainly offering incentive: Pricing for the iPhone 7 will begin at $649, the same price as its current 6S model. The iPhone 7's available for pre-order starting September 9, and it'll hit the market on September 16.
— Lance Ulanoff (@LanceUlanoff) September 7, 2016
Apple events have also had a recent-ish history of tapping major recording artists to perform, ostensibly in an attempt to lend a festive atmosphere to the press and jargon-heavy presentations (and as a reward for sitting and listening to it for so long). Sia closed the event this year with a live debut of "The Greatest," recreating the music video starring Maddie Ziegler, as well as "Chandelier."
Sia takes the #AppleEvent stage. pic.twitter.com/JZ7uggBVXZ — Lance Ulanoff (@LanceUlanoff) September 7, 2016
Following the U2 Songs of Innocence debacle in 2014 — in which the band didn't perform, but iTunes users were given an album they never asked for — Apple closed their June 2015 Apple Music unveiling at the Worldwide Developers Conference with a performance from The Weekend, and Tim Cook's fave OneRepublic in September of 2015.
Here's What Sia's Face Looks Like Under the Wig