Apple's Aladdin trick
The problem for the company was that the technology blog Gizmodo had stolen a lot of Apple's thunder weeks ago when it released a flurry of photos and videos of a prototype of the phone which was left in a bar.
Even though Steve Jobs acknowledged the event indirectly, he refused to utter Gizmodo's name and tried to imply he wasn't bothered by the whole affair by joking with the audience "Stop me if you've seen this before".
In a bid to raise expectations above those set by the blog, he quipped "Believe me, you ain't seen this."
Alas, for most of us who had read Gizmodo's coverage, it seemed like we had.
The event was hyperbole-heavy with Mr Jobs stating that the new slimline iPhone 4 is "the biggest leap we've taken since the original iPhone".
One developer, Alex Sikora of Vokal Interactive, didn't quite see the new version in those terms:
"I am not sure it really is the biggest thing since the (original) iPhone because the iPhone was really big but this is definitely an improvement."
The feature that got everyone talking at the event was FaceTime or video conferencing.
Mr Jobs made a big deal of it by unveiling it as his famous "one more thing" announcement.
He referred to FaceTime as futuristic.
He seemed like a kid in a candy shop and took great delight in demonstrating the phone's new feature by video-calling his pal Johnny Ive, Apple's senior vice president of industrial design and the creative power behind everything from the iPhone to the iPad.
Clearly analysts were impressed by FaceTime and, at a backstage hands-on event with the iPhone 4, a number said that they thought it had the potential to change how people communicate.
"It's definitely a leap forward," said Tim Bajarin of Creative Strategies. "When it ships, it will be the best smartphone on the market."
Charles Wolf, an analyst with Needham & Company agreed. "I think video chat (FaceTime) is going to be something that really differentiates the iPhone from other devices."
Others were a bit more circumspect.
"It's disappointing that FaceTime is only on wi-fi," said Van Baker, vice president of research at Gartner. "Still, I have to say it is a very nice implementation, very simple to use. You make a phone call, you push a button that says FaceTime and suddenly it turns into a video call. This is Apple at its finest - taking something that is relatively complex and making it drop-dead simple."
FaceTime will only work on wi-fi and from one iPhone 4 to another iPhone 4.
Developers certainly seemed to give FaceTime the thumbs-up.
"FaceTime is the feature that will really take the iPhone to the next level for me," said Vincent Ganneau of Haploid.
"Everybody has been talking about face to face chatting for a long time," said Sean Vosen of Vokal.
"This changes everything in terms of what we can provide, what people can do, the reach, the speed and who can use these devices. It has blown me away."
Krishna Panicker of Skype was in agreement. "I can see this as being another ground-breaking moment in terms of how users experience communications. I have seen other companies try this and fail. I remember years ago buying a 3 phone and doing video-calling and they just didn't nail the experience. This is taking it to another level," said Mr Panicker.
Apple by numbers
While the iPhone 4 was the big announcement of WWDC, there was plenty of room for updates on other Apple products.
Mr Jobs rolled out a host of statistics to make your head spin.
On the iPad, he reiterated that over two million had been sold since its April launch and that that amounted to one being sold every three seconds.
He also said that in 65 days, users had downloaded over five million books equalling two and a half books per device.
Next up was the App Store with over 225,000 apps.
For months, there has been a certain level of disquiet about Apple's approval process for apps.
Mr Jobs underlined that 95% of all apps are approved within seven days. Every week 15,000 apps are submitted in over 30 languages. The main reasons why some are rejected are three-fold.
1. The app doesn't "function as advertised"
2. The use of private APIs
3. They crash
Mr Jobs noted that the App Store had just crossed the five billion download mark and that to date the company had paid developers one billion dollars.
The new order
In the latest love-hate relationship with search giant Google which is developing rival products like its Android operating system and Google TV among others, Apple announced Bing as a third way for people to search on the iPhone alongside Google and Yahoo.
Mr Jobs referred to Microsoft, its former enemy as having done a "cool" job with Bing.
"That Bing is now a search option is unbelievable," said analyst Michael Gartenburg of the Altimeter Group. "Microsoft is clearly the new Switzerland and Google is the new enemy."
While chunks of the iPhone release might have sounded like a deja vu, the same could also be said for the unveiling of the new operating system which Mr Jobs personally launched back in April.
The big news there was a name change to iOS4 because it will cover the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad.
The software update will bring multi-tasking to the iPhone, allowing users to run multiple applications and programs simultaneously, and will also let users organise their mass of applications into folders.
In between trying to show off all the latest that the Apple engineers had come up with, the demo demons hit Mr Jobs right slap-bang in the middle of his keynote speech.
As his efforts to dazzle developers with some of the iPhone features failed, Mr Jobs claimed that the cause was the 500-plus wi-fi-hoggers in the audience.
Actually, he said his tech team detected 570 separate wi-fi base stations. Those included mi-fi cards and Sprint's new EVO 4G phone, which can create shareable wi-fi hotspots based on mobile internet.
Putting a cheery face on things, Mr Jobs went for the democratic approach and left it to the audience to decide if people should power down.
"You know you can help me out here. If you're on wi-fi you might want to get off it," Jobs told the crowd as his demo began to go south.
"I think bloggers have a right to blog, but if you want to see the demos, we're not going to be able to do it," said Mr Jobs.
This was clearly not in the script. And for Mr Jobs who prides himself on his keynote presentations as setting the bar for all other execs taking to the stage, it was also embarrassing.
Elephant in the room
While the Apple fanboys and girls lapped up the event and media and bloggers came from around the world to report on it, there was one notable exception from the "hack" crowd - Gizmodo.
The San Jose Mercury News reported that they were not invited.
"We're banned for life, I think,'' said Brian Lam, editorial director of the gadget blog.
"I got no response at all,'' he said when he e-mailed for press accreditation. "I've worked with these people for seven or eight years, and they never failed to write me back. This tells me they're probably not allowed to talk to me any more. It's not personal. But Steve is very angry at Gizmodo."
Heaven help the poor person then that was responsible for keeping the wi-fi going during his keynote.