Last week I was chatting to Sigmund Judge, Editor over at my other site, Screen Times. We were, as a lot of Apple nerds were doing last week, trying to guess what this week’s Apple Event, ‘Spring Loaded’, had in store.

Sigmund was pointing to the fact that the squiggly, actually beautiful illustration on the invite looked like it was done with a new Apple Pencil effect, and so the Apple event would have new Apple Pencils.

Of course, Sigmund may be correct, but it got me thinking about how much information an Apple invite gives away when looked at AFTER the fact. So I took a look back at all the Apple events from the last 5 years and did an evaluation.

I must confess that this article is now on its third evolution. After I started looking at this, 9to5 Mac posted an article saying it only gave away screensavers for new products. The article took a slight turn in another direction. Then later in the week, Twitter ‘leaker’ ‘L0vetodream’ posted a ‘leak’ that multicoloured iMacs would be appearing, like the multicoloured illustration on the invite. The article took another slight turn.

So, third time lucky - do Apple invites tell you what you can expect?

we invite you to a riddle - sort of

Let us loop you in - March 21, 2016,
New Apple Watch bands were released at this event, so there is a hint in the title, but they weren’t the main focus due to the new iPad Pro and iPhone SE.

See you on the 7th - September 7, 2016
I mean, Apple didn’t even try to name this event. The lights make up the top of the Apple logo. Nothing to see here!

Hello again - October 27, 2016
This is one of the invites that shows a screensaver from a new product - this time the new MacBook Pro with Touch Bar. That gives you no clue as to the product, though and ‘hello again’ maybe gives a slight hint that it’s Mac related.

Let’s meet at our place - September 12, 2017
Again, another screensaver pattern provides no indication of the products and the title is a reference to the first event at the Steve Jobs Theatre.

Let’s take a field trip - March 27, 2018
This event focused on education, particularly the low-cost iPad. This is reflected in the title. The logo is drawn too, but since the low-cost iPad didn’t support the Apple Pencil, there is no connection.

Gather round - September 12, 2018
Probably one of the most direct illustrations so far; the round logo represented the event being at the newly opened Apple Park. The rose gold colour represented the new colour introduced for the iPhone XS. The first direct reference in this list so far.

There’s more in the making - October 30, 2018
This invite certainly hinted towards creativity (this event introduced the current design iPad Pro and new Pencil), but it’s still very vague - let’s face it, almost all Apple products can be creative in some way. Apple did however do many, many different versions of this invite - all interpretations of the Apple logo. I’d prefer more of these going forward!

It’s show time - March 25, 2019
No design, but the title makes a straightforward reference to the unveiling of TV+, one of the world’s worst kept secrets.

By innovation only - September 10, 2019
Though this at first glance looks like the original Apple logo, on closer inspection, the colours are in the wrong order, and orange is missing. This ended up almost reflecting the iPhone 11 colours that were unveiled at this event. Minus the blue and not including the black and white versions.

Time flies - September 15, 2020
This was one of the most over-analysed Apple event invites... which gave away nothing in the end. The loops, the animated AR version on the Apple website, the colours. None of them was reflected in the products unveiled.

Hi, Speed - October 13, 2020
In case you don’t remember, this was the event where the words 5G were said continuously for one hour. This was hinted in the title about as subtly as it was in the presentation (translation - not very). The rings could be hinting at the new MagSafe capabilities on the iPhone and the HomePod Mini, but that’s a bit of a reach.

One More thing - November 10, 2020
The title here did give us a hint that, after three events in quick succession, this was the last of the year. The multicoloured refraction round the Apple logo could maybe be traced back to the spinning wheel in MacOS that would be on the new M1 Macs, but it’s unlikely Apple would want to make a connection between a new Mac and what a lot of people call the ‘wheel of doom’.

don’t believe the hype

At the end of all this, I was left with a feeling that Apple doesn’t want to give away anything in their invites. Certainly not actual products they will announce. The titles tend to give away most. However, they’re always direct and noticeable when they do, so they are hardly a riddle to work out. The illustrations only give away possible new product colours, and even then, it’s pretty rare. This last point does make me think that we could be seeing multicoloured new M1 iMacs at this weeks event. Then again, maybe not. This could just be the new screensaver for the new iPad Pro’s.

Apple doesn’t give things away, ‘leakers’ and industry insiders do that enough, but one thing is for sure; they love the amount of publicity it gives them when people obsessively over-analyse their invites.

But that’s also the fun of being an Apple fan, right?