This Tuesday Apple CEO Steve Jobs took the stage at the Moscone Center in San Francisco to deliver the keynote address at Macworld, a trade show for Apple products and the third-party hardware and software manufacturers and developers that support them. Here’s an executive summary of what Mr. Jobs announced. Instead of going into great detail right now, based on “heresay” and press releases, I’m going to provide an overview now and wait until I get some hands-on time to get all wide-eyed and being gushing effusively.
Jobs began with his traditional “state of Apple” statistics review. Since its release in October, Apple has sold five million copies of their “Leopard” operating system upgrade, and over 20% of the Mac user base has migrated to Leopard.
After 200 days the market, four million iPhones have been sold. That’s 20,000 per day. The iPhone, in 90 days, has garnered 20% of the “smartphone” market share. In February, Apple will open the iPhone to third-party developers.
Last week the four-billionth song was purchased from the iTunes Store, and a single-day record of 20 million song sales was set on Christmas Day, undoubtedly helped by all those iTunes Gift Cards stuffed in stockings.
Jobs then made four major announcements. First, a device called “Time Capsule”, which is essentially an 802.11n/g/b/a wireless router coupled with a server-grade hard drive. Time Capsule is designed to work wirelessly with Leopard’s “Time Machine” backup software. More on it when it ships in February.
Second, a software upgrade to iTunes and the Apple TV set-top box to enable movie rentals through the iTunes Store. Rentals are available right now for playback on your computer or iPod/iPhone. In a couple of weeks Apple will release the Apple TV software to let you buy and rent movies directly from the couch. No computer needed. I have an Apple TV, and will faithfully report about it when the Apple TV upgrade comes out.
Third, iPhone users got some new features in a software update, available right now. One upgraded feature is the “Maps” utility (developed with Google), which now includes a “Where Am I?” button that can pinpoint where you are, like a GPS.Fourth, Apple announced the MacBook Air, their version of the subnotebook. It is the thinnest, coolest, sexiest notebook shipping today (well, in two weeks, actually), and I’ll review it then.
|© 2008 Peter F. Zimowski|