The iPhone 5s and iPhone 5C shifted a combined nine million units in the first three days after launch, suggesting that once again, reports of Apple's demise have been greatly exaggerated.

Apple iPhone 5S

One of the great difficulties of modern reporting, a veteran newspaperman once told me, is reminding yourself that it's better to be late than inaccurate. Which is true, of course. Just try telling that to one of the ten thousand bloggers covering the iPhone launch.

Cut off from the world in a remote corner of rural France, I was left to muse that it would have made things a lot easier if I could have covered the press event in advance. And then again, why not? The iPhone 5S, the iPhone 5C, the colour options – thanks to Apple’s leaky hardware supply chain, we knew the details already. Pick a college-rock song for Tim Cook to stride out to and some third-party revenue figures, and you've got yourself a liveblog.

Steve Jobs holding iPhone

It's all a far cry from the days of Steve Jobs, with his secrecy and his stagecraft and his "one more thing". But Apple has (mostly) moved on from showmanship. We knew what we were getting on 10 September, which was simply the best possible mobile technology experience Apple could provide. And you don’t need David Copperfield to sell that.

With Apple reporting unprecedented sales figures - a phenomenal nine million units across the first three days - the crisis that it was supposed to be going through this year seems like a distant fantasy. Partly, of course, naysayers take shots because Apple is an appealingly high-profile target. But there also seems to be a widespread misunderstanding of what makes it so popular. It isn't marketing alchemy or leader worship any more. It's something much more boring: uncompromising design values, and ruthless quality control.

Anyway, I'd better be off. I've got an iPad 5 report to write.

See also: Can Apple ever be doomed again?

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