Four Things Apple Loves, maybe Five If You Listen Close

On Tuesday January 15th Steve Jobs took the stage and in true form drew a road map for the next several months for Apple consumers. The whole Apple blogosphere has recapped this in great detail, but in short order here are the keynote highlights.

  • Time Capsule: Full Airport Extreme base station with either a 500gb or 1 terabyte drive.
  • iPhone: Updated software, maps with location, multiple SMS recipients, customization and web clips. iPod Touch: also gets 5 new pieces of software —maps, notes, stocks, mail and ical.

  • iTunes: Movie Rentals and the introduction of the Apple TV – Take Two
  • Macbook Air: Amazingly thin and light laptop relying heavily on WiFi [fits in a manila envelope]

If you want to see the essence of the keynote is 60 seconds just click here.

While most of these things were hoped for and anticipated, to some degree there was a since of let down in the post keynote interviews. Not that the announcements were bad, simply that they didn’t jibe with the interviewee’s particular dream of what was to come. There are two reasons for this.

  • It’s getting harder for Apple to ascend the mountain they’ve set out to climb. To be the dominant player in media delivery is no small task and it is clear from watching the iTunes store that Aplle wants to be the place you consume entertainment. Mountain climbing is always hard work.
  • The second reason is that Apple cannot simply give us a few more or few less pounds of technology. The needs of the consumer must come at the expense of Apple’s vision for the future. So you want a lighter laptop; let us build you one that is within our corporate vision. Every smart business does this. Design isn’t chopped liver because chopped liver is always a side dish.

What is most interesting are the things Apple didn’t announce on January 15th 2008. At the end of the keynote Steve recapped what they had announced in the first two weeks of 2008 and then said “that gives 50 more weeks” which is code for; there is a lot more to come. Let’s speculate for a moment.

The Macbook Air is 1799.00 weighs 3 lbs has two gigs of ram an 80 gig hard disk and is the greenest laptop Apple has ever produced. The Air is really nice, wrapped in a aluminum skin and as stylish as any laptop ever produced. But what else can you get for 1799.00? A very capable black Macbook, with better specs in some areas and only two pounds heavier. True the Macbook doesn’t have the same “green” build or the design cachet as the Air but feature wise it’s just about on par. The question becomes is there enough difference to the buyer. Is there an Air consumer out there that is not being served? Time will tell.

What I find more intriguing is what Apple may have around the corner hence the reason for this post. If you are a laptop buyer it might be worth considering what Apple could announce in those “50 more weeks”.

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