This single, somewhat irreverent question—spoken in the general direction of an iPhone during Apple's 2012 WWDC keynote by Apple's iOS chief Scott Forstall—has almost nothing to do with smartphones or computers or technology in general; and yet it was, I would argue, the most important thing that was said on stage over the unpredictable course of Apple's entire 90-minute hype-spectacle-cum-media-event on Monday afternoon.
The question was asked of Siri, the iPhone 4S' (and soon, iPad 3's) virtual assistant. Siri retreated momentarily into the gadgetry brains of the iPhone, and then reemerged, responding in that immediately recognizable, slightly mechanical voice of hers: "LeBron James appears to be slightly taller."
Forstall's query was meant to demonstrate one of several new knowledge bases that will come to Siri in the upcoming iOS 6 update: You will soon be able to ask your iPhone for sports scores, games' scheduled start times and historical information about athletes, as well as for restaurant information and reservation availability, and also for movie times and reviews and actor and actress and director filmographies.
What the question really demonstrated, however, is that Apple's strongest, most dazzling weapon in the war to differentiate its iPhone from All Those Other Smartphones just received a fresh stockpile of ammunition.