Today was a major milestone for Apple
Computer, Inc. that will be looked back in retrospect a major turning point when Apple finally completes its digital media ring of products and services. January 9, 2007 will be remembered as the day Apple announced many revolutionary products, such as the smart-phone and digital media hub that is the iPhone and the AppleTV.
The floodgates of Apple’s R&D departments flew upon us today and shocked us all. The buzz and publicity the keynote has attracted has made both geeks and consumers froth with excitement and made the Intel transition sound unimportant.
Evolving into a consumer electronics company
Today Steve Jobs introduced the new corporate name for Apple Computer; “Apple”. Onstage Steve concluded that Apple is no longer just a computer company with the assortment of non-computer products that they sell.
Steve also made it clear once onstage that the keynote was not going to be centered around Macs and Mac OS X. That meant the rumors concerning iLife/iWork ’07, additional Leopard previews, octo-core Mac Pros, Intel Core 2 Mac Minis, etc. did not come true. Alex Lindsay of MacBreak made an interesting point that
- Apple did not have enough time to release all products expected to be released in an (already extended) two-hour keynote.
- Apple wanted to make clear that the iPhone was the big announcement and not for it to be clouded by additional product announcements concerning Mac and Mac OS X. (Such as the ROKR and iPod Nano Keynote).
And as Apple is spreading its focus across the consumer electronics industry, it now has new competetives it never had before, such as Palm and RIM. Apple’s strong foundation with a large user-base and a strong will for innovation, they should have no problem.
More Mac-related product announcements soon?
Even though Steve said he wasn’t going to talk much about the Mac platform today, chances are the traditional announcements won’t go forgotten and they will introduced a few weeks from now after the buzz over the iPhone and AppleTV settle. However, it appeared as if the demo Mac was running a newer version of Keynote with new text effects, including spark and the ‘pass-through’ effects, and new graph gradient textures.
The iPhone is the iPod Killer
Whoever thought the iPod killer would be a product made by the company who made the iPod? Steve made it clear the Zune sure wasn’t going to be the iPod killer, as some thought when they heard of the Zune. But today’s iPhone announcement ended up embarrassing Microsoft and its Zune player and just shows how Microsoft is always a copier and never an innovator.
The Consumer Electronics Show and Macworld Conference & Expo coincided today. However, even with CES’ large popularity and publicity, most of the news from today’s CES news coverage was overshadowed with the revolutionary announcements in San Francisco today at Macworld.
I talked to people here who have seen the Apple phone and they were practically frothing with excitement. But even if it were more reasonably priced, it will be primarily attractive to early adopters and those who either have to replace their existing phone or whose cellular contract is up.
An iPhone without a phone?
The downside to the mobile phone market is becoming compliant with each independent wireless provider and saturating each wireless provider’s market share. While I wasn’t surprised at all, I was disappointed that Apple chose not to partner with Verizon and Sprint to captivate more potential buyers who are already in contracts with other wireless carriers. Even if Apple gains serious market share in Cingular’s product line, it will still not make a major impact in the overall market because of the large percentage of consumers in the United States who are customers of other wireless providers, such as Verizon and Sprint.
Besides, an iPhone without the phone would be successful by itself, with built-in Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Multi-Touch widescreen, and OS X-based. It would be very disappointing if Apple were not to eventually develop a similar product just as an iPod. People who are loyal customers to other wireless carriers and who don’t really need a phone won’t buy an iPhone, so a large market would be left untapped.
A stronger foothold in the movie industry
With addition to each of the exciting product releases, Apple has made partnership with Paramount pictures to provide over a hundred movies available on iTunes, growing the content available on the iTunes Movie store dramatically and becoming a leader in the downloadable movie industry. Paramount pictures is the second major studio to partner with Apple to sell downloadable versions of their movies. Paramount is a big studio to partner with, and it will sure trigger many more partnerships with other major movie studios.
The AppleTV will revolutionize the way many get their movie content, instead of paying subscription-based services or renting movies at their local Blockbuster, they instead just decide what they want on the couch and buy it through the iTunes store.
Partnership with Apple Corps.?
Steve seemed to really push the Beatles today, playing ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’ and a few other Beatles hits during the keynote. I doubt he would be promoting music that they do not currently sell on the iTunes store during the Macworld keynote, so chances of a new Apple Corps. partnership would be very likely considering the facts.
Also, the shedding of the term ‘Computer’ from Apple’s corporate name is symbolic not only of their new strides in consumer electronic innovations, but also the end to their disputes with Apple Corps. While we may not ever understand the complete details of what went on after their last settlement, but it looks as if their bruised relationship is beginning to heal.