I was following the live blogs from the WWDC yesterday – it started at 10.30pm (India time) and went on for a good 2 hours. The rumour mills were working over time as usual prior to the event and the two big quesitons were: (a) will there be a new iPhone hardware? and (b) will Steve Jobs show up?. The answers are Yes and No. There were a lot of little things showcased: updates to the Macbook lines (there will be a nee 13-inch Macbook Pro starting at $1119, with a permanently sealed 7-hour battery), showcasing of Snow Leopard the next new Mac OS, release of Safari 4, a demo of iPhone 3.0 software and finally, the reveal of a new iPhone hardware, iPhone 3GS (S for speed).
With Snow Leopard, the claim is that everything runs faster and the whole OS takes up 6 gigabytes less disk space. Apple did not miss a chance to take a dig at Vista and Windows 7, by the way. I quite liked the Expose function in the Dock. QuickTimePro has been done away with (about time, me thinks) and you can edit movies right inside QuickTime. The upgrade price, US$29 for exisitig Leopard users was a pleasant surprise.
With the iPhone 3.0 software, lots of applications were showcased and with the hardware, Apple seems to have addressed many of the grouses against it: better camera, copy paste, voice function (that is so 2006!) and some more. The most controvesial piece seems to be the price: 16GB – US$199, 32GB -US$299. But in the US, this is applicable for new customers only. AT&T is not offering upgrade pricing for existing iPhone 3G owners, and is asking $599 for the new 16GB 3G S, or $699 for the 32GB model.
Some thoughts on WWDC and the announcements:
much mudsliging will happen on Apple due to it’s (AT&T’s?) decision to offer upgrades selectively. But that’s how the technology cookie crumbles.
it is commendable that Apple constantly updates & upgrades it’s product porfolio. There could be competitive compulsions but by and large I think the urge to improve comes from within.
the new features on the iPhone 3GS (already dubbed 3G sucks) will be mocked my many as ‘nothing new’. In my opinion, it beats the pants off the competition when it comes to seamless integration of apps and user experience.
the OS X usership increased 3-fold after the iPhone launch. It means that the strategy of introducing the ‘Apple experience’ to non-Apple users through the iPod and iPhone is working.
The new iPhone 3GS is scheduled to launch in India in August. Any bets on Vodafone & Airtel offering subsidized pricing? I doubt it. Prepare for a 35k iPhone 3GS in India?