I have to say, that when I originally read the news coming from the Steve Jobs keynote, I had a very different reaction than I do now. At the end of the keynote, I was furious. My reaction has since tempered quite a bit and now I'm not so upset. What changed my reaction? My initial reaction was based on a live text feed that described everything that was announced in the keynote as it was being announced. This means someone was sitting there in the audience, typing away furiously trying to get all the information out. Obviously in a case like this, important details are going to get missed. You need to get the whole story. I got the whole story by actually watching the entire 2 hour webcast of the keynote itself. This time I heard every word and saw everything. Now that I have the whole story, most of my fury is gone. In place of it is just a big batch of impatience!
Why was I furious? On first glance, Apple seemed to make a few very boneheaded mistakes in the keynote.
First, they announced a fantastic new product - the Apple iPhone, that everyone will want, but the problem is it won't be available until June! I was upset that they would go and announce a product six months before it's released! Apple doesn't usually do that. It's very unusual for them. I'm watching this and I'm thinking, "Way to go Apple. Give the competition 6 months to catch up to you!" After watching the keynote I understand now why they announced it so early. Since the iPhone is a cellular phone, it needs to get FCC approval. This usually takes several months and all the approval information is public knowledge. They announced it early because they wanted to let everyone know about it before the FCC approved it. They didn't want it 'leaking' out that they were working on it. They wanted to announce it their way. A very understandable thing.
Second, they did not even mention Leopard, the new version of OS X that is supposed to come out later this year. I found it very surprising and rather infuriating that they omitted this. Upon watching the keynote, Jobs mentions that they will be announcing many other products over the next few months. This likely means that Leopard is indeed coming soon. I suppose they just wanted to use Macworld to talk about the product that frankly stands to earn a hell of a lot more - their new iPhone cell phone. I just found it annoying that 'Macworld' didn't talk about Macs! I think my fury also stems from the fact that I really want Leopard and I want it NOW! I'm just an impatient guy! :)
Third, they did not announce any new iPods. The current hard drive based iPod is over a year old now and is long since due for an update. Yeah, they announced the iPhone, which has a lot of iPod functionality in it, but what if I don't need a cell phone, or don't want to spend all the money on one? I just want all the iPod functionality in the iPhone, minus the phone. Are they going to announce this? I would think this would be a great product to come out with, but nothing was mentioned. I'm still a bit annoyed by this. I'd rather not be a slave to Cingular for 2 years just to get the iPod functionality of the iPhone. Maybe I want to get cell phone service from someone other than Cingular (who is the exclusive carrier of the iPhone). As it stands now, I would be forced into Cingular. I can't just buy an iPhone minus the phone and get a cell phone from someone else. That lowers my options and ties me into a 'monopoly'. I don't like that.
Fourth, they did not announce any new Macintoshes. I (and everyone else) was fully expecting announcements of updates to the Mac Pro line to upgrade it to an 8 CPU core processor. I wasn't looking to buy an 8 CPU core processor, but I was hoping they would do it, so they could upgrade the cheaper, lower end Macs to have 4 CPU cores. I have been wanting to upgrade to a new Mac, but the Mac Mini is not powerful enough for me, I don't need the integrated screen on the iMac, and the Mac Pro is just too expensive. I was hoping they'd make the Mac Pro an 8 core and then come out with something similar but cheaper and 'only' 4 cores that I could buy. I also don't like the inadequate video cards on the Mac Mini and iMac. I'd much rather upgrade the video card myself. For that I need the Mac Pro. I was really hoping for the announcement of a cheaper alternative.
I try to be a fair person. I don't like to judge too harshly without hearing all sides. I like to think that listening to the keynote gave me a better outlook on things. While I must say that I'm not as upset anymore, the keynote left me with as many questions as answers. I'll get to some of those questions in the next blog...