Davao Mac User


Post-MWSF 2006

I woke up a little before 1 AM today to see what Steve Jobs had to say to Apple fans like me. Months before MWSF 2006 rumors have been flying all over and can’t help but expect a lot of things to happen. The loudest of these rumors was Intel-based Macs but nobody could say which of the Macs will first get the upgrade. Most said that the iBooks are the most likely candidate since these are the Macs that needs the most upgrade, if you will. Another of these rumors were supposed to be new iPods, particularly new shuffles or shuffles with screens. Not considered a rumor was iLife 06, since a slip up by somebody from Apple posted a webpage proclaiming the coming of iLife 06 and the iWeb app. Other rumors included the iPhone, a tablet Mac, and new pricing schemes for iTMS.

As usual though, Steve Jobs like to keep things a secret as much as possible and except for the iLife 06 and iWeb slip up, everybody really didn’t know what Jobs had in store for them.

As I have said, iLife 06 was a no brainer. The iLife suite makes publishing your content, be it words, pictures, audio, or video, much easier to do. The apps brings photocasting with iPhoto, podcasting with GarageBand, and videocasting with iMovie. All these can be integrated and shared with friends and family by using iWeb and a .Mac account.

IWork did not have the “Numbers” application that people were hoping for in the latest release of the suite. The new additions doesn’t have that much of a “wow” in them.

There were no new iPods at all. The only thing iPod related was the iPod remote with FM Tuner that’s selling for $50. It looks like the shuffle’s control and nothing else. I might just get one myself, not for the tuner but for the remote. There also were the figures of 14 million iPods sold on the holiday quarter of 2005 and 42 million iPods sold since 2001. There’s also the stats of 850 million songs and 8 million videos downloaded from iTMS. The usual new video contents for iTMS from ESPN, ABC, and Saturday Night Live.

There were no iPhone, no new pricing scheme, no tablet Macs. But there definitely were Intel Macs.

It wasn’t the iBook though. No one probably though seriously of the iMac as one of the two that is getting the new Intel chip. And why should anybody expect it? The iMac just had an upgrade about 3 months back. A loud groan of consternation probably was heard from those who bought the iMacs with iSight and FrontRow last year. Some people must really be ticked off. Steve Jobs said that these iMacs perform 2-3X better than its PowerPC counterpart. The whole morning’s demo of iLife 06 ran on a Intel iMac. The iMacs are still sold with a 17″ and 20″ screen and priced the same as the G5 iMacs.

The “One more thing…” announcement was expected and unexpected at the same time. People speculated that the PowerBook would most probably get an upgrade at MWSF 2006. It actually didn’t get an upgrade. It was killed off. January 10, 2006 is the day that the PowerBook is laid to rest.

Apple wanted to get away from the PowerPC, and they made a new line of Macs and named it MacBook Pro. The MacBook Pro is thinner than the 17″ PowerBooks and 4-5x faster than the PowerBook G4s. It sports a display Jobs said that is as bright as the screen of the Apple Cinema displays. It also has a built-in iSight, IR for the Apple Remote, allowing one to control Front Row, and the new MagSafe feature, to prevent the laptop from flying off the table when someone trips over the power cord. He went on the go about the usual selling of the features and how great the MacBook Pro will be. He then announced that the entire Mac line will slowly shift to Intel chips and be done by the end of this year. As the MacBook Pro is to the Powerbook so is the MacBook is to the iBook. But what about the PowerPC? What it will be called is anyone’s guess.

When the keynote started, I noticed the Job was a subdued and had a hard time making the audience react. The audience perhaps was a bit impatient to see if there indeed was to be Intel Macs or not, and any other announcements were not worth the hoot.

But Steve Jobs was not like the Steve Jobs I saw in other keynote presentations. He was less vibrant, less enthusiastic. He looked like he was doing the keynote a bit reluctantly. Perhaps, as one writer surmised, this is his last keynote. His swan song, if you will.

What made me think this? For one thing, before announcing that April 1 of this year was to be the 30th anniversary of Apple’s founding as a company, he cryptically said the he might not be around on April 1 to for the 30th anniversary. He also gave recognition and made the people who worked hard for Apple who were in the audience at that time to stand up and receive their ovation. He also recognized the people in Intel who made the Intel Mac a reality so soon. I had a weird thought way back that when Jobs will make the people behind Apple receive the ovation of the world that he will do this only when he is headed out the door as CEO of Apple.

I wonder if anybody noted that he constantly coughed. Perhaps he had a cold. Perhaps it’s something else.

Am I portenting doom for Apple’s CEO? Why am I being so morbid. I don’t know. Perhaps I am a bit disappointed but at the same time excited at the thought of the new Intel iMac. It’s just the little things that I saw that made me think but I hope that I am wrong. I hope that Steve Jobs still has 5 more years of keynotes and conferences.

I can’t wait to save up and get the new iMac.


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