Recap of Yesterday’s Keynote Address plus Reactions
Twenty-four hours after yesterday’s keynote, I’m trying to objectively decide on the significance of the announcements made. As usual, the devil’s in the details:
Time Capsule – this is a wireless backup appliance that automatically backs up one or multiple Macs in conjunction with Time Machine. It’s essentially an Airport Extreme tied to a HDD in 500GB or 1TB capacities.
iPhone/Touch software upgrade – version 1.1.3 firmware ( requires new iTunes v7.6 ) for iPhone adds location-aware Maps, Web Clips, multiple home screens, multiple SMS plus iTunes upgrades. For iPod Touch, 5 new apps: Mail, Maps, Stocks, Weather, and Notes as a $20 upgrade for existing users. SDK in late February.
Apple TV Take 2 ( new software ) – AirTunes support allows direct streaming to device with SD and HD ( High Definition ) content, adds Dolby Digital 5.1, partnership with 9 movie studios, rent movies and watch as many times as you want within 24 hours after which it times out, plus lower price of $229.
MacBook Air – world’s thinnest notebook, features multi-touch gesture support using trackpad, 1.6 GHz or 1.8 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 2GB of memory, 80GB 1.8-inch hard drive, the latest 802.11n and Bluetooth 2.1, 13.3-inch LED-backlit plus full sized backlit keyboard, iSight, 1 USB port, Micro-DVI and headphone ports, battery not user replaceable ( $129 ), retails for $1799.
So what’s the reaction been like? UBS analysts have said Apple’s MacWorld keynote was a bit disappointing. That feeling has been echoed more or less by other analysts as well. As a result, Apple shares yesterday closed at $ 169.04 down 9.74 %.
As for me, I have to admit Time Capsule was a surprise, although not a very exciting one. There are many wired third-party back up devices already available and I don’t really see major demand for wireless backup. I mainly see Time Capsule as a relatively fat profit margin device that Apple needs to maintain high revenues. The iPhone/Touch software upgrade was timely although I was expecting a 3G announcement to be made and platform SDK to be finally revealed ( maybe even games ). Apple TV Take 2 is an attempt by Apple to finally shift this product from a hobby to a viable business, but I have my doubts whether renting ( as opposed to subscription model ) works better. MBA is an engineering marvel but I’m put off by the high price. BTW, MBA uses a new software called ‘Remote Disc’ which allows a MBA user to share optical drives of other Macs or PCs to wirelessly transfer files, obviously as long as Remote Disc is installed on those machines as well. That begs the question how are you supposed to install Remote Disc on another computer in the first place? Well, you either have to bring the install DVD along or carry a copy for each operating system on a portable USB drive. Overall, it was a bit dissapointing but I’ll assure you it WILL shape up to be a very exciting year for Apple.