Some kind of “world” anyway…
Things started off well enough. The iTV was named and announced to support HD. “Boom” and “otomatic” made their expected appearances. Then it seemed like a flurry of squares went down at once. Three new products! Widescreen video iPod! iPhone! Some crazy “Internet communicator” thing! Tick off the “New video iPod” and “iPhone” squares, at the very least, right?
But keynote bingo is a harsh mistress. As we all know by now, those three things were actually a single product: the iPhone. That “New video iPod” square? Well, is the iPhone a “new iPod that can play video"? Probably not, if we want to be honest bingo-ers. We know in our heart of hearts what “New video iPod” is supposed to mean, and it doesn’t involve a two-year contract with Cingular.
It was all down hill from there—or rather, it all pretty much ended there. No more squares would be marked. I didn’t even get to mark my pet “iPods with cameras” square due to my restrictive description that demanded that “iPod” must be in the product name. Blah.
If WWDC 2006 was a bingo bust, then MWSF 2007 was a bingo blow-out, and I was on the losing side. No Leopard, no iLife, no iWork, no Adobe or Microsoft, no new Mac hardware or software at all. If I had included a square that read “No Mac hardware or software shown,” you all would have thought I was crazy. What a world.
The nearly vacant bingo card is a pixel incarnation of my disappointment. I’m not a phone guy (although I will talk about iPhone in a future post); I’m not an iPod guy (although I own a few); I’m a Mac guy, and this sure as hell wasn’t a “Mac“world for me.
I really wanted to see two things on that stage. First and foremost, I wanted to see more of Leopard. The design of the card itself was meant to echo what I thought the "new look” for the Leopard UI might be like (assuming such a thing exists at all). Second, I wanted a Mac Pro with eight CPU cores to be introduced for a very selfish reason: I want to buy one. My dual 2GHz G5 is getting close to retirement, and would most appropriately be replaced by another top-end Mac tower. Four cores is so last year.
iWork and iLife weren’t even on the card, because come on, we all know new versions of those are coming, right? Right…? <looks around nervously> Also, about renaming Apple Computer, Inc. to Apple, Inc., I could swear Apple did that already a few years ago. Anyone else know what I’m (apparently mis-) remembering? Whatever, I don’t see it as a big deal. People fretting about the name change itself have cause and effect reversed. The name reflects the product mix, not the other way around.
As for the iPhone, I started waiting for that the second Jobs said in a quarterly earnings conference call that he though the PDA market was a dead end, and that phones were the future. Steve Jobs says little in public without measured intent. To me, his statement in that conference call roughly translated to, “Apple has a phone products in the works.” That was in the third quarter of 2002.
After a while, I got tired of waiting for an iPhone (and tired of entering it in my then-local friendly Macworld/WWDC keynote pools). After all, Apple tried to license Palm OS years ago, too. (Predictably, Jobs didn’t really want to pay anything for it, so the deal never happened.) Like any company, not all products Apple sets out to create actually make it to market. After over four years, the iPhone sure looked like it had died on the vine.
Things turned a corner a few months ago, however, when it started to become clear that iPhone was a real product and would actually be released. But would it be ready—all the partnering deals in place, hardware and software in at least a “demo-able” state—in time for Macworld in January? I wasn’t sure, thus the “No iPhone” square. It seems I should have created an “All iPhone” square instead. (Oh yeah, and Apple TV; how could I forget that? Ha.)
When the keynote ended, I thought the silver lining for Macworld attendees was that at least they’d get to play with the iPhone on the show floor. After all, with no new Macs to display, surely the Apple booth would be filled with rows of iPhones on security tethers. But no, it turns out that the iPhone was trapped in a clear plastic cylinder. You can gawk, but you can’t touch.
Anyway, enough moping. Surely a Mac Pro Octo will be released some time this year. Perhaps there’ll even be new displays with built-in cameras (with an aiming feature too, for the love of Jobs!) And Leopard, well, that’ll be out around June, it seems. When’s the last day of “Spring 2007” again? Don’t sweat it, Steve. Take all the time you want. My next few months are wide open for Special Events. I just want to see the new interface, you know, some time before it goes on sale.
This article originally appeared at Ars Technica. It is reproduced here with permission.