Apple unveiled its Apple Watch and iPhone 6 series handsets this month; it's possible that you heard. And while the event's primary objectives were achieved - all humans made aware of the existence of the iPhone 6 Plus: check - it's fair to say that as launch parties go, this one had its ups and downs.

At times, and this is going to sound odd coming from a fan of the company's work, there was the faintest whiff of desperation in the air. Is that too strong a word? Maybe we should just say that Apple seems to be trying too hard.

With each passing year, Apple turns more and more into the white suburban dad of tech companies. It doesn't normally let that hold it back, any more than white suburban dads can be persuaded not to turn up at their son's youth club with Enya blaring from the car speakers. But Silicon Valley's hip young gunslinger of 1976 hasn't been genuinely countercultural for decades. It turned into The Man a long time ago.

(In a lot of quarters, granted, the perception remains that Apple is cool, and it regularly tops polls of the coolest brands. This is a difficult thing to quantify, but I'd say that Apple is more an uncool person's idea of a cool company. Which, given the ratio of uncool to cool people in the world, is an exceptionally lucrative thing to be.)

Like most embarrassing dads - and I speak here as a white suburban dad as embarrassing as any - sometimes Apple just tries too hard to show everyone that it's still got it. It tries to show the young upstarts that it can still cut a rug to the latest pop sounds. And the first of this autumn's Apple launch events was a case in point.

iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus

A great time to be an Apple fan

This year's iPhone refresh was critical; after a couple of years of aggressive and innovative launches from rivals, it was the big opportunity to reassert Apple's post-Jobs pedigree. And I am absolutely convinced that the event was a success. The products on display were of a calibre to show that Apple is in rude health: the iPhone 6 series are fantastic handsets, iOS 8 is fantastic, I am excited about the Apple Watch. This is a great time to be an Apple fan.

But this makes it all the more frustrating when the company starts trying too hard.

Take the event's musical turn, a little-known outfit called U2. Contrary to what much of the internet declared after discovering Songs of Innocence in their iTunes purchase history, U2 are not the worst band in the world. But goodness me, they are absolutely the worst band to hire if you want to project an image of youthful confidence.

They are a band almost exactly as old as Apple itself; a collection of middle-aged millionaire tax exiles that started out as punks and ended up playing stadium arenas and being photographed with politicians. And if that's not a dangerously seductive symbol of Apple's corporate evolution, I don't know what is.

Apple Watch

Take the Apple Watch, which is gorgeous - and not ready.

In an unprecedented move for Apple, the watch was unveiled not only months ahead of shipping but without even a firm shipping date; the prototypes weren't even fully functional, and nobody outside Apple knows exactly what the devices will be able to do. Since Tim Cook tightened up Apple's supply chain, we've grown used to products being shown off and then shipped within days, but this time it seemed like Apple was so desperate to show it could do wearables in an exciting way that it spilled the beans too early.

And take the interviews Tim Cook gave shortly after the launches, which - as my colleague Ashleigh Allsopp points out - gave the distinct impression of trying eagerly to win over the doubters. ("Haters gonna hate," Ashleigh observes sagely.) 

The pressure of being number one

Apple is in great form at the moment, and I haven't the faintest worries about its direction under Tim Cook. But I do sense that the good stuff that Android is also doing has got under Apple's skin a little bit.

And so an otherwise triumphant launch event didn't feel like the biggest company in the world reaffirming its dominance. It felt like an also-ran playing catch-up. "Look - we've got phablets too! We've got wearables too! We've got... er... U2? Yep, still got it."

Like U2, mind you, Apple still sells a lot of product, so it's probably not worrying too much. And unlike U2, its products are better than ever before. It's just that, when you've got that, you can really stop trying so hard to be cool. Read: iPhone 6 Plus rivals