Apple keynote and hype

As you might now, yesterday Macworld Conference & Expo 2007 started with his keynote address. I thought I’d cover the new products, my opinion about them and the Apple hype.

The news

Basically, Apple released these three new products:

iPhone

The talk today seems to be about the iPhone, and sure, it seems like a nice device. But I heard somewhere that Jobs said (and I can be totally wrong here) that this product will revolutionize everything. Eh… Yeah. Or it is just yet another smart phone. Sure, it looks nice and will undoubtedly have some nice features, but some things bother me:

Hard drive size
If I have a device which I will have my music, video etc on, 8 GB is far from sufficient. The reasons is that I don’t want to prepare the iPhone with what I might be interested in listening to or looking at when I leave my computer. Me, I need at least 20 GB.
Battery time
It says that battery lasting time will be about 5 hours if I listen to music, watch video and use the phone features. Who wants a cell phone that needs to be charged almost every day?
A 2 megapixel camera
Ok, I can see that then need to have a camera to compete with other cell phones (although personally I’m not interested in it), but to put one in with just 2 megapixels? When this product is available on the market, I’m sure 4 megapixel cameras with far better optics will be out there. If you ask me, I think the camera in the iPhone is just a waste of space and weight.
Availability
It is supposed to be released in summer in the US, end of this year in Europe and not in Asia till next year. Far too long to wait from its announcement, and given that Apple’s first round of products are almost given to be faulty, no one but maybe some Americans will have a working one till 2008.
Touch-screen
While the touch-screen is a great idea for having a bigger screen and saving unnecessary button clutter, I can’t help but wonder how dirty and fingerprint-stained the iPhones will be. Is there an optional pen to use, for the ones of us who don’t want winter vomiting disease all over it?

Now you think I’m all against smart phones and/or PDAs, but I’ve had my fair share of them. It started out with a Palm V in 1999, followed by getting an iPAQ 3630 the first day it was released in the US in 2000, and so on. I like the idea, but what about all of us who don’t want all-in-one? We who just want a mobile phone to make calls, and instead a nice regular iPod for our music and videos? I think they should’ve released an iPod video version as well, without the phone and camera features.

Also, just for the fun of it, silly little me thought this was an iPhone:-)

Apple tv

Sync your videos and music from your computer to a little device to watch it on tv. The flaws in this, as I see it, is the iTunes dependency, and probably consequently FrontRow/Quicktime dependency as well. And you can read in my MacBook Pro post what I think of those. Why not use a nice Mac mini instead?

What I really miss here is something that Apple really has to address soon: release a working Media Center machine! FrontRow is nice to look at, but totally useless in practice. Microsoft did the exact right thing and announced their
Windows Home Server, and you can read the Windows Home Server Preview to get a better understanding of what it is. Step up, Apple!

AirPort Extreme

Faster and wider wireless connections. Nice.

The Apple hype

Naturally, Apple are very good marketers and at building a hype surrounding the keynotes and new releases, and this no doubt helps their sales tremendously. Before this keynote there were such an abundant of rumors, like the image in the Apple web site had the exact HD size so it was a hint they’d release some kind of Media Center, I heard from an Apple store that all MacBook Pro shipments had been put on hold (nothing new there…) and so on.

Frankly, I’m getting a bit tired of it. Apple have some great products, no doubt, but most of the time the keynotes and releases aren’t getting close to matching what they build up. Apple aren’t the only ones to blame for this, of course; it’s the media hype, Apple fanatics etc too. In the end though, the thing that bothers me most with fanatics (Apple, Microsoft or any other company) is that everything that their beloved company releases is the best in the world. Seriously, get some self-distance and try to be impartial and look at it objectively. Some things companies release are outstanding, some are not; simple fact of life.

I know someone who loves Apple and when Apple released the 15-inch MacBook Pros, and no 17-inch ones, he said that no one would need 17-inch ones since the 15-inch ones were just so perfect. and then, when Apple released the 17-inch ones, it was of course the next natural step and a fantastic release…

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