I’ve been on the phone with Wil Gomez during and after Steve Jobs’ keynote presentation at Macworld.
Based on Wil’s first hand accounts, reading a couple of dozen Mac sites for news, and scouring the Apple web site, here’s my list of what went wrong at Macworld Expo.
Wil said the food wasn’t any better than last year’s Macworld Expo and the food last year was bad. I’m hard pressed to come up with more than that.
For once, most of the pundit prognosticators of all things Mac and Apple got it right this time, with few surprises and fewer disappointments. What? A Macworld without disappointments?
Sure, we’d all love to have seen the 3G iPhone, one Mac360’s predictions (more of a hope, really). Who among the Newtons For Life crowd wouldn’t want to see an new iPad device with color screen, multi-touch, etcetera adnauseum?
Reality is what we have to deal with and Macworld Expo, and Steve Jobs’ keynote presentations always bring us down to reality. This year’s reality was perfectly real and perfectly expected.
Steve Jobs said he wanted to talk about four things during his presentation. He talked about more than four, but that’s quibbling. It’s more, not less.
Early on in the show it was wireless, with a wireless Time Machine and wireless Time Capsule, a hard drive backup system from Apple. That was the clue. Wireless. Wireless is the future. Perfect.
Steve then moved on to a distraction with the iPod touch ($20 for a software upgrade?) and iPhone. New apps, new stats, some old new news, but nothing to knock off socks.
Thing #2 was really wireless but it was. iTunes Store movie rentals, reasonably priced, easy to download and view on multiple devices (even wirelessly), and every major film studio on board. iTunes Store is biggest in the world in music, TV shows, movie sales, and within short order it will be the largest online movie rental store, too.
For all the squawking the film studios have done about Apple and Steve Jobs, they sure lined up in a hurry to do movie rentals. Do you think that 140-million iPod users and potentially tens of millions more iPhone users had anything to do with it?
Oh, and it all works now on both Mac and PC, iPhone and iPod, and… drum roll please… Apple TV, take 2, Thing #3. More wireless.
Apple TV gets a lower price, more capability in a software upgrade, and the ability to download and view movies, reasonably priced rental movies, in DVD quality or HD quality, right from your sofa. What’s not to like?
Did I mention wireless purchase of music from iTunes Store from Apple TV? That, too. Apple owns music and Apple will own online movie rentals.
Not much had gone wrong up to that point, right? Then jobs slows things down by getting the CEO of Fox to show up on stage. He’s better than the guy last year from AT&T, but a simple pause before the perfect storm.
Storm? Yes, the wireless storm. Jobs then introduced the MacBook Air, also not a surprise, and certainly not a disappointment, except for one thing. Wait until you hit the Apple Store and price out the SSD MacBook Air. It starts at $3,000. Ouch.
Otherwise, Apple simply crammed in all the coolest things about small and wireless and stuck them in the thinnest of all possible aluminum boxes, and gave it speed and RAM and storage and, uh oh. No SuperDrive.
Yes, you can get one for $99. USB. Or, you can hijack one from a nearby Mac or PC using a software feature called Remote Disk. Cool.
Outside of not giving us more of what we dream of every night, Apple gave everyone pretty much everything that was expected. That’s a first. The keynote presentation itself, though it started a few minutes late, as usual, also ended right on time. That’s a first.
Somehow, while we pundit prognosticators were not paying attention, Apple matured into an organized, well-tuned machine capable of cranking out products to match expectations. That’s the surprise.
No complaints. No real disappointments. More products from Apple to take our hard earned dollars (and pounds and yen and francs and whatevers) from all over the world. Wil said that one thing was clear coming out of the keynote presentation and heard on the exhibit floor among attendees—Apple nailed it. Expectations. Actuality.
Suddenly, our lovable, rebellious, sometimes holier-than-thou Apple has become the old Sony.