Note: Forgive us, this article isn’t something that we would normally publish. But last week was not an ordinary week. We’re still trying to adapt to it all.

I’ve started to refer to this moment during Tuesday’s special event as the Schiller sigh. The first time I noticed it, it seemed like a very odd reaction. But we now know it was a moment of true emotion escaping in a very important presentation. With hindsight I understand the reaction and the strong emotion behind it, and it speaks volumes. Take a look at the video below, if you missed it during the presentation.

That reaction has haunted me ever since noticing it upon re-watching the special event stream. This week has been a very emotional week and after noticing Phil Schiller’s reaction, I could not get it out of my head.

Was that a sigh and did he look sad right after announcing the new flagship iOS phone? He should be really proud after announcing a new product. People should see in your face and reaction how great the product is and how proud of it you are. But no, that was a sigh, and a very sad face.

Initially I thought that perhaps Phil didn’t like the iPhone 4S or name. Then I quickly realized it wasn’t the name but the fact that he was up there announcing it. A product who’s real creator could not be up there to announce it himself. Only the next day did we understand exactly why.

That was just a single moment in the middle of a very subdued presentation. Not the traditional Apple presentation we are used to. Phil let his emotions tell what, out of respect to the family, he couldn’t say with words. The life of a great man, the one whom everyone in that room admired and respected, was coming to an end. The executive team knew it. They went on with the event, most likely because Steve expected them to. They were all very professional, but the emotional toll on the presenters was evident.

Looking back, they held up amazingly well. I can not imagine how tough it must have been to be up there. But they are professionals who knew that Steve would be watching and expect nothing less from them. And the products announced, which Steve was responsible for, deserved it.

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An empty seat that can never be filled. Reserved last week at the iPhone 4S announcement.

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