Monday, June 11, 2007

Has the Apple gone sour?

Today has been one of the busiest days for techno-geeks the world over. The initials WWDC may not mean much to most, but to Apple aficionados, it one of the most important days in the diary.

If Apple corp were to release an 'on this day in history' The World Wide Developers Conference keynote speech from CEO Steve Jobs would include such delights as the original iMac (WWDC 1998), the PowerMac G5 (WWDC 2003) and of course the various versions of Apple's crowning glory, the iPod.

It based on this kind of hype and cult-brand-status that anyone who is remotely interested in Apple products can be forgiven for holding out high hopes for the day as far as gadgets and gizmo's go. In previous years, Steve's near-evangelical keynote has hit my credit card hard and I was expecting the same this year. Maybe an update to the iLife software and the aging iMac desktop? As the lights dimmed, I pulled up my laptop and prepared to want...

As it turns out, I was left wanting. Steve's keynote didn't lack enthusiasm or even the odd 'boom' here and there (I counted over 40 back in '03), what it did lack though was err... products. In fact I basically counted 2, the iPhone which isn't out here in the UK for ages (and isn't HSDPA compliant) and the upcoming operating system 'Leopard' which looks OK but doesn't flick my switches like laptops and desktop computers.

And that was about it... I was shocked and saddened (now there's two words you don't see together often!) with the lack of any 'real' products or upgrades. No iMac upgrades, no iPod upgrades, instead news that the beta software development is going ahead as planned and that the iPhone will also launch in the US in two weeks, where it will undoubtedly do well.

It also looks like I wasn't the only one to find this keynote 'lacking', as Steve bowed out, Apple's share price also seemed to be exiting-stage-left, with a 3.45% drop in value. It seems that the markets were also hoping that Steve would have more than a mobile phone and a CD up his sleeve. Alas! He didn't!

So as the dust settles, my hopes that the last poor keynote from Jobs was a one off were dashed and to add insult to injury, he even used his "one more thing" section to announce that apple are now coding software for PC'! What is the world coming to?


Anonymous said...

I perfectly agree with you. I was hoping more ...

James said...

Blimey Paul, being "shocked and saddened" is a strong set of emotions to bring out for a speech by the boss of any computer company.

The thing is that Steve Jobs can't get on stage without people wishing, hoping, expecting to hear about a new tablet Mac or an iFridge or some other nonsense.

The rumour sites go mad, based more often than not on dreams made in Photoshop.

Ignore the hype and wait for Steve to speak before getting worked up about it. It can't be new iMacs and toys for the boys every time.

Of course it would be nice to see new hardware, but WWDC is an event for developers. Showing off Leopard (don't forget all the WWDC attendees get to take home the latest beta) and web apps for the iPhone doesn't seem unreasonable.

Apple have been writing software for the PC for ages. Ever watched a Quicktime movie in Windows? Know anyone who syncs an iPod with iTunes on XP?

Safari for Windows is going to be a good thing once the bugs are sorted out. If Safari gets a larger share of usage then the few websites that don't support it will have to think again. It's also going to make it easier for Windows based web developers to chech their sites work in Safari.

The Mac community is a good thing. But the over exciteable members of the gang need to stop behaving like kids on Christmas Eve and acquire some perspective.