This year’s 2009 Apple WWDC (World-Wide Developer’s Conference) kicked off with a bang this morning at 10am(PT) sharp with Apple’s customary keynote presentation. The rumors of the new “god-like” devices that had been in serious overdrive for the last week were finally revealed to the public. I was following the event from Gizmodo’s live blog which was just about the quickest to refresh I have ever seen. Way to go on that end. As for the juicy details to emerge from 1 Infinite Loop-some were good and some were pretty “blah”. And there was one GREAT bit of news. Let’s start off there and work our way down.
For me, the most shocking announcement regarded OS X 10.6. Otherwise known as “Snow Leopard.” It’s Apple’s newest update to their already slick operating system. It’ll be packed with plenty of new features: 64-bit OS, about twice as fast at routine things like launching programs or files, a brand new design for Quicktime, and it’s actually a smaller install package than 10.5. You actually get back 6GB of storage when upgrading. Oh, and when is it available you ask? September. And the best part? To upgrade your Mac to Snow Leopard will cost you $29. Yes, under THIRTY DOLLARS for an operating system. Take notes Microsoft…you owe us for Vista. Available in September (Windows 7 launches in October btw).
The other large announcement is the new iPhone. We all knew it was coming, we just needed it confirmed. Apple added a letter to the name as well. The iPhone 3GS. The “S” is for speed. Same price points ($199/$299) as we know, but double the storage (16/32GB). They also support the newer 7.2Mbps HSDPA standard…well, at least they will whenever AT&T gets their network ready for that. Until then we’re stuck with regular old 3G. Same outside design but new internal guts. They’re sporting a 3MP camera finally with auto-focus (tap on the screen to focus wherever you want), video recording (30 fps/VGA quality), supports Open GL (for better gaming), has a new digital compass (linking into Google Maps), have finally added full voice control support (including music playback!), and like all Apple progression-better battery life. The other things we knew before hand: cut, copy, and paste; MMS support (more on that in a bit);and built in Nike+ support for the athletic crowd. What isn’t to like you ask? Three letters…AT&T. Watching the pictures come in from the live blog I couldn’t help but laugh when Apple was talking about all of these features. All of the carriers from the world were on the background of the presentation. EXCEPT the only carrier in America. Why? Because they are dragging their feet with their FLAGSHIP device. They already limited the abilities to view streaming video with their ban of the Sling Player app last month due to “bandwidth” issues. Now, that the “took way to long to implement MMS” feature is ready for the iPhone their network won’t be able to support it at launch. REALLY?? How can all of their other phones fire off MMS with no issues, but the iPhone somehow will crash their network. I somehow think Apple (or Jobs) will have more than a couple heated discussions before this phone hits shelves. It launches June 19th and yes I will probably be in line for one. The original iPhone 3G will still be available for $99, which puts an iPhone in the reach of A LOT more people. That $100 threshold will probably mean HUGE sales. Look at the market…there isn’t much close to the current iPhone right now at $199 (the new Palm Pre for Sprint is $199 w/rebate and has been cost out in parts at around $160…the current iPhone is around $100 at cost). The competition at that price level might as well just go piss on a fence.
The other news is that Apple is pretty much discontinuing the Macbook line. Now, their standard white (plastic) unit is still available but the newer uni-body (aluminum) ones have been re-branded as Macbook Pros. They’ve upped the specs across the board (7-8 hour battery life, but not replaceable) and actually discounted them. The entry level 13″ MBP is now $1199 and the 15″ is $1699. My guess is that they will get into the netbook fight very soon and will use the original “Macbook” name for that new product line. No mention of that today though. The new Macbook Pros are available now.
That pretty much covers the details. No “One more thing…” and no Steve Jobs appearance. I’m thinking that there will be another media event in a few weeks for the “Holy One’s” return. And probably some new drool worthy gadget as well. Sitting at home for 3 months getting well should have given him plenty of time to think up the next “big” thing.
Giz’s full live blog of the event here.