I was all ready to get annoyed by this piece, but actually I pretty much agree with the points you make. A lot of the energy and whimsy has gone out of Apple and it’s just not quite the same anymore.
I’d be worried if I wasn’t expecting exactly this after Steve’s death though. In fact, although Tim’s doing a great job in charge, he feels (particularly at this keynote) more like Apple’s custodian, as if Steve has just popped out for a minute.
That’s it in a nutshell for me: all the post-Jobs keynotes have the same feel as the ones Apple put on when Steve was on medical leave, i.e. Apple’s crushing it without breaking a sweat, but it’s just a little bit flat.
There will never be another Steve Jobs (and especially not at Apple), but I do think they can get the excitement back, as Steve’s long shadow recedes with time. Easily my favourite post-Jobs keynote moment was Schiller’s fired up “Can’t innovate my ass!” line at the launch of the (ill-fated) cylinder Mac Pro. I believe the passion for the Apple-way is still very much there in Cupertino, but I want to see less polish and more hellfire.