This article was first published on 2008-02-26. Due to the age of this article, it is included here for archive purposes only.
If you haven’t caught on to it by now, Tuesdays are Apple’s announcement days. It’s pretty rare that anything new with Apple comes out on any of the other six days. Let’s take a look at what just came out of the Mothership and what it means, starting with the most important.
iTunes Store is the #2 music retailer in the U.S. No, that’s not the #2 "online" retailer, it’s #2 overall. That’s up from #3 last summer, passing Best Buy and right behind Walmart. The reason this is important is leverage. Apple needs all the leverage it can get in negotiations to bring more and more content to the iTunes Store.
For instance, Warner Music has not approved Apple to sell DRM free music tracks through iTunes while it has allowed Amazon to do exactly that. That decision looks more and more foolish as time marches on and iTunes marches upward. If the trend continues, it is only a matter of time before iTunes is the #1 music retailer.
This position also helps Apple leverage their position to bring more movie and television content to the iTS. The owners of this content (many of whom are also the owners of the music rights) are dragging their feet in giving the digital media consumer what we are all asking for, and the ascent of the iTS can only hasten the process to where we can buy more media more conveniently for better terms than we can today.
New MacBooks and MacBook Pros. By new, I mean upgraded. Sorry, no real news on actual design changes to these laptops. It’s been YEARS since we saw the new aluminum MacBook Pro enclosure and even longer that the MacBook was a slab of white plastic if you count the iBook as the same design. C’mon Apple, we are ready for the next new thing in laptops and the MacBook Air is not it.
As far as the changes go, all configurations were upgraded with faster chips and bigger hard drives. This what we call a "speed bump". No real surprises here, except that the MacBook Pro track pad will recognize the multi-touch gestures that the MacBook Air does. But they didn’t enlarge the track pad size like they did with the Air. Odd.
New iPod 2GB Shuffle is shipping. I guess that’s cool if you wanted a Shuffle but 1GB was not enough but 2GB is. Meh.
And now the surprise no-show…
NO news on the iPhone SDK. Well, this is the last Tuesday in February, which is the month Apple promised to have it out the door. This expected SDK is important in that it will change the trajectory of the iPhone and it will have an effect on any other Apple handheld products that are to come as well as the iPod Touch. This is likely to be the future of new cool products from Apple, and they are busy figuring out how to control 3rd party developers in this new realm.
We get that creating this SDK is hard. SO the question of the day is, are they just going to roll it out a few weeks late like the Apple TV update, or are there bigger bumps in the road that we are unaware of. If it’s the former, the delay will likely not be remembered, but if Apple has to punt, there may be consequences that has effects across many of the Apple product lines, like when they delayed Leopard for months because of the iPhone development.
Let’s hope they announce on Friday (the bad news day) that it’s a couple weeks late and roll it out with a big splash in early March.
What do you think about this week’s news? Let us know in the Comments section below!