Steve Jobs has been through this a few times, and 2007 would be a tough act to follow – for nearly anyone after the stellar performance of the iPhone and iPod-laden world we live in, but a somewhat tired, weak and seemingly frail leader of the Mac World had four (4) big announcements for the world.
Time Machine was a feature built into Apple’s last version of the O/S and now they have extended it’s functionality by integrating either a 500GB or 1TB hard drive into an 802.11n wireless router. Pretty basic stuff – DLink and others already have similar products and it was US Robotics intention to do so years ago when 802.11b (11Mbps) was announced – and the price of $299 and $499 respectively may be a little bit pricey for some NAS. For Mac enthusiasts – it could be $10,000. That was number one.
Number Two was to toot Job’s horn about selling 4 million iPhones in 200 days since it’s launch and achieving 19.5% market share in the smartphone market (US Q3 2007). New features made available today on iPhones include a reworked UI for the maps application also integrating technology from SkyHook and Google for self-location on the map. This is not done with GPS technology but rather a combination of WiFI and Cellular triangulation. More customization is allowed to the iPhone and iPod Touch menus and Touch customers can get the new features for a $20 upgrade. (Why, I’m not sure.)
Movie Rentals were the #3 item they wanted to tell us all about. Sure, they have signed all the movie labels – and now I see why. The plan provides for ‘vintage classics’ and ‘new movies (30 days after on DVD)’ which will be priced at $2.99 and $3.99 respectfully. For that price – I’m using another service like Vongo or MovieLink – $4 bucks a pop is nearly half my monthly Vongo service plan. Netflix will also kick their b***.
Finally, the tiring Jobs presented a notebook that truly believes it is a fresh breath of – AIR. Yep, the MacBook Air. It’s WiFi driven and ultra sleek with a front edge of less than .2″ – it is truly impressive. Plus, more excitingly, Intel was able to shink a Core2Duo processor (in both 1.6 and 1.8GHz flavors) nearly 60%. Same die – smaller package.
In all, seems that Apple came up with a cool UMPC and that’s about it. Charging iPod Touch users for the new software update – lame. Overpriced rentals – lame. Jobs tired appearance – not sure what that is all about, but according to ArsTechnica last fall his appearance was detailed as His â€œthin, almost gauntâ€ appearance and unusually â€œlistlessâ€ delivery. I can only hope that Mr. Jobs health is not just my imagination at work – but honestly the man looks not well. His energy level is limited, he’s quite thirsty and his clothes seem to be little more than a bag of bones. Can someone report on the health of Mr. Jobs?
It has been nearly three years since Mr. Jobs announced his cancerous condition and then it was removed and we have heard little since. Last fall comments regarding Steve’s health were met with ‘he’s fine.’ I think that it’s time someone take a good, long look. Steve – the world loves you – let them know what’s going on.