Steve Jobs took to the stage to announce the latest and greatest from Apple at Macworld 2008 earlier today. Here is a summary of his keynote:
- Leopard: 5 million copies of Leopard delivered in first 3 months. 20 percent of OS X users have upgraded from previous versions.
- Microsoft Office: The latest version, Microsoft Office 2008, is now shipping. It was the last major application to be ported over to the Intel platform
- Time Capsule: New product from Apple to make it easy to do Time Machine backups of all the Macs in your house. It combines an Airport Extreme base station (with 802.11n Wi-Fi) to do wireless backups and a hard drive. 2 versions to be offered, one with 500GB hard drive (USD$299 or CAD$329) and another with 1TB (USD$499 or CAD$529).
- iPhone: 4 million iPhones have been sold in the first 200 days that it has been shipping. This was good enough for second place behind RIM on the Smartphone market and eclipsing the market share of players like Nokia, Motorola and Palm.
- iPhone: The already announced SDK will be available in February. There was little more said about it though.
- iPhone: New software is coming for the iPhone. It includes maps with location, WebClips, up to 9 customizable home screens, the ability to send SMS to multiple people at once, new features like lyrics and language capabilities in iPod mode. The upgrade will be free to iPhone users and will be available today.
- iPod touch: Five new applications to be released for the iPod touch. These are Mail, Stocks, Notes, Weather and Maps. Upgrade will cost USD$20 for existing users and it will come standard on future iPod touch.
- iTunes: 4 billion songs have been sold to date (including 20 million on Christmas Day alone). 125 million TV shows and 7 million movies have also been sold. Steve recognizes that movie sales have not met expectations.
- iTunes movie rentals: Apple is introducing movie rentals. The major studios are all on board, including Fox, Paramount, Universal and MGM. Once a movie is rented, you will have 30 days to start watching and 24 hours from the start to watch the movie. Rentals will cost USD$2.99 for library titles and USD$3.99 for new releases. The first 1000 movies are expected by end of February. Streaming will let you start to watch about 30 seconds after the download starts. Rentals can also be transferred to another device (eg, your iPod). A free software update for iTunes, iPods and the iPhone will enable this functionality.
- iTunes movie rentals: The service is being deployed first in the United States. Other countries will follow later in the year.
- Apple TV update: The new version of Apple TV (Take 2) will let users buy music and TV shows and rent movies in DVD or HD format directly from their television. Content will be synchronized back to your computer. It comes with a new one menu interface and supports Dolby 5.1 surround sound. Existing Apple TV owners can upgrade for free. Apple TV price reduced from USD$299 to USD$229 (CAD$249). The software update and new Apple TV will be available in next two weeks. HD rentals will cost USD$3.99 for library titles and USD4.99 for new releases.
- 20th Century Fox: They were the first movie studio to sign up for rentals. They will include an iTunes compatible digital copy with each DVD. Customers will be able to move this copy to iTunes so that they can watch it on their different devices. The first DVD with this feature is Family Guy: Blue Harvest.
- MacBook Air introduction: Jobs claims it is the world’s thinnest notebook. Weighing about three pounds, it’s only 0.76-inch at its thickest. It has a 13.3-inch widescreen display with LED backlight, a magnetic latch, iSight web camera, MacBook-style keyboard with ambient light sensor, multi-touch trackpad (featuring new gestures), 1.6GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor with 1.8GHz option available, 1.8-inch 80GB hard drive with 64GB SSD option, 2GB RAM, 802.11n WiFi, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR, 1 USB 2.0 port, and an aluminium chassis. Prices start at USD$1799 (CAD$1899) and it will start to ship in about two weeks. An optional MacBook Air SuperDrive is also available for USD$99 (CAD$99).
Meanwhile, I’m putting my crystal ball back in the basement.