After the Show is Over: Thoughts on the last MacWorld
Several points were raised about the competent, yet surprisingly low-key presentation from Phil Schiller revealing much about Apple's confidence for the future. I view this as a contrast to the fortunes of PC makers like Dell or Lenovo, among others who announced job losses while I was in San Francisco. Some optimists view the belt-tightening as relatively short-term. Lenovo, for example, has other irons in the fire and can weather the current storm. There were no such announcements from Apple whose manufacturing is done almost entirely offshore: China, Taiwan and others, including Thailand.
That Apple only released a top-of-the-line, 17" MacBook Pro (102,900 baht) shows that they resisted the temptation to make a splash for Phil Schiller, although some suggest that this was to save Steve Jobs making a weak presentation. I do not hold with that, especially with the quiet confidence I found among Apple representatives I met there. As per the song Tony Bennett gave us: the best is yet to come.
The release of this notebook computer seems to ignore the economic downturn, but Cupertino is in a strong position with its loyal customer base. Having a well-made product with a target market (photographers, film-makers) who are likely to continue buying; and the hint of a wider market that is looking toward investment in terms of product reliability and longevity, are all in Apple's favour here.
The same goes for iMovie which increases this ease of use with editing tools, while (as before) allowing direct uploads to YouTube. In the demonstrations I saw at MacWorld, which were all packed out, there was a major emphasis on this flexibility that the quick editing features gives a user.
GarageBand, which I use regularly, has evolved since its beginnings as a music-making tool; first with jamming; and now lessons, with additional modules created with professionals, for example John Fogarty and Sting. These will be on sale for $4.99 (about 175 baht) soon and it is expected we will be able to download them from the online store. I talked to a professional musician from Singapore who was highly enthusiastic about this new idea which will add to the appeal of the suite.
I was also impressed with the latest iWork suite: Keynote, Pages and Numbers which is continuing to evolve. It is available already and there is a full version available for a 30-day trial. I am looking at this and am already over the moon about Apple's Remote app for Keynote installed on my iPod touch.
Most significant, however, is what was not said; and what has not yet been released.
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