Remote tech launches


Remy Loz

With many workers working from home, tech launches have gone virtual this year.

Over the past few months we have been treated to the usual tech product launches from big companies like Apple, Google, Samsung, and Microsoft. These events are normally packed full of journalists and tech enthusiasts but due to COVID restrictions they were unable to support a live in person audience.

This led to some companies postponing their launches while they figured out what to do about it.

The conclusion that just about every company came to…pre-recorded virtual keynotes and events. 

One big concern a lot of people had is that everything would just become one long scripted commercial after losing the sometimes off the cuff nature of these events.

Some companies fell victim to this problem more than others. Today I will be ranking the big tech companies that have recently held unveilings, and review how their virtual events stack up.

1. Apple

Since the pandemic, Apple has held two major events, WWDC and their September 15th hardware event, announcing seemingly almost all their new products for the year; however, noticeably missing, was the iPhone. Apple has scheduled a separate iPhone event for later this week.

The reason I would rank Apple number one on my list is because of how entertaining their launches have been. I was easily able to watch both the events without feeling like I was just watching a long infomercial.



They may not have been the same as live events, but the production seemed much higher quality and well done than some of the other very scripted seeming events we will take a look at later.

I would personally argue that Apple’s WWDC event was more interesting than the September event, but for the majority of consumers, they are more interested in what new products Apple is releasing, not the developer tools.



2. Microsoft

Another personal favorite of mine, the Microsoft Surface Duo press event. This event felt more like a conversation and less of a commercial or keynote. Panos Panay, Chief Product Officer at Microsoft, delivered a very passionate and sincere briefing about the new Surface Duo.

You can tell that he is just very passionate about this product and seems like a proud parent excited to show off their new child to anyone who will listen.

There is something truly unique about this event; watch for yourself.



3. Google

Google’s launch event seemed, in my opinion, the most like normal. The reason it still ranks this low on my list is because Google’s launches have always felt more like one big commercial to me.



You could tell it was prerecorded and was very much scripted. Overall it was not bad, but it could have used a little more to get it past the commercial feeling of it all.

4. Samsung

I have never been a huge fan of Samsung’s live events. This year’s Unpacked was no different. I struggled to get through this one. Both of their events felt very awkward to watch, especially the first part of their Unpacked.



Part two was a little better, and they seemed to have learned from the overwhelmingly bad reaction to the first part. 



I am not entirely sure why they split their event into two different parts separated by almost an entire month. They also made it much harder for people to watch again. I managed to find the stream from a third party, but it was noticeably absent from their own YouTube channel.

Overall these recent tech launches have been a bit of a different experience. For me, as someone who has always watched from home, it was interesting to see what these companies thought was the best way to host their events for viewers like me at home.

Some companies definitely did a better job than others but I think overall they had to step up their game and make a lot of changes to their originally planned presentations.

All of the presentations felt a little scripted, but the overall delivery and commercial feel were not nearly as bad as I had worried.