Steve Jobs admitted today that the iPad was a hoax intended to demonstrate his company’s unprecedented marketing prowess. “We mocked the whole thing up in Photoshop,” Jobs told reporters during an 8 AM conference call. “While we assumed that the so-called social media world would embrace anything we announced, we were shocked that the technology and business press didn’t expose our game.”
Apple fans already queueing in front of the company’s flagship Fifth Avenue store in New York City were disappointed but calm. “When I saw the TechCrunch post at 7:54, I thought it was an April Fools joke,” claims Apple fan Stephen Foskett. “But then all the other sites started liveblogging from the call a few minutes later, so I guess it’s true.” Foskett, like nearly everyone else outside the store, remained in line even after the announcement. “I hope they give refunds for our pre-orders,” he said, adding “but either way, I’m buying another MacBook.”
During the call, Jobs had harsh words for many, asking “what is wrong with these people? Did they seriously think my next great achievement would be just a bigger iPhone?” Pundits, who had defended the product since its January announcement, were quick to stand up for the concept. “Even if it’s not true, the iPad was a great idea,” wrote Walt Mossberg of the Wall Street Journal this morning. “It seemed like so much more than just a bigger iPhone.” Andy Ihnatko agreed, declaring “Apple invents things that everyone wishes they could build.”
Apple’s competitors were caught completely off guard by the joke. “We were so sure they were building a tablet computer, we started working on one of our own,” commented a Google Android engineer who requested anonymity. Microsoft and HP, who tried to beat Apple to the punch announcing their own tablet computers, remained committed to their plans. A senior Microsoft spokesperson commented, “we invented the tablet PC ten years ago, and we expect to have our own iPad-killer on the market within two years.”
The legion of independent developers working on iPad apps were reassured by Jobs hints that another product was on the way in a few months. “The next announcement we make will be truly revolutionary,” claimed Jobs. “It truly is magical and extraordinary. The work on iPad apps done by the app developers might even apply to this new device.”
When asked about a a forthcoming higher-resolution iPhone HD and the rumored move from AT&T to Verizon, Jobs lashed out. “Have you been listening to anything I’ve been saying? That’s not revolutionary! Think outside the box! Imagine what we could do for transportation!” He then slowly stormed off the stage, shaking his head. Back at the Apple store, fans said they were eager to put down a deposit on the Apple car depicted in MacRumors.com spy shots.