MacMost Now 179: 2008 Apple News Review

A look back at Apple news in 2008: MacBook Air, new iMac, iPods, MacBooks, MobileMe, iPhone 3G and the iPhone App Store.

Video Transcript
Hi, this is Gary with MacMost Now. It's time to review this year in Macintosh news.
So 2008 started off with the MacWorld Expo announcements; the big one was for the MacBook Air, a new light-weight version of MacBooks. Now this one came with the light-weight, three pounds, but a heavy price tag, $1800. Also announced at the conference was Time Capsule, a version of AirPort Extreme with a hard-drive, so you can back up to it, and also iTunes movie rentals.
Most of the rest of the year will be dominated by iPhone news. Starting in March, when Steve Jobs announced that there would be an iPhone software development kit that would allow third-party developers to make applications for the iPhone and that there would be an app store that you would be able to buy these through. Apple would facilitate these purchases and give money to the developer.
In April, we got an update to the iMac line, with a slightly different look and a little bit more power.
Then, finally, on July 11th came the release of the new iphone: the iphone 3G, with 3G networking capabilities. At the same time came the release of the iPhone 2.0 operating system, which supported these new apps from third-party developers. Along with that came the release of MobileMe, an update to .Mac that made MobileMe into more of an exchange like service, being able to automatically sync your iPhone, your Mac, and a web-based version of all your data into one service. But, the service had a lot of trouble through much of the year; updating didn't work quite as expected, and people were mostly disappointed with the few new features that were actually in MobileMe.
In September, we got a whole new iPod Nano. This time with a very vertical look, but basically with the same screen and video playback that the old iPod Nano had.
Finally, in October, we got a whole new update to the MacBook line. Both MacBooks and MacBook Pros were updated to use solid aluminum bodies. They got some speed boosts and things like that, but there was a little bit of controversy too, as FireWire 400 was removed from the MacBooks.
But, even with updates to the iMac, MacBook, and iPod, I think 2008 will be remembered for the iPhone. Not only was it the release of the iPhone 3G, but Apple met and surpassed all of their sales targets. They also put the iPhone in a ton of different countries, and, with the release of the apps store, the iPhone became a genuine platform and a portable gaming device that's now competing with the other portable things out there, like the Nintendo DS.
So, what's in store for 2009? It's hard to say. Apple did so much in 2008 with just about every part of their product line that it might be possible that 2009 is a pretty quiet year, where apple just continues to sell its products. One of the things a lot of rumors are looking toward is something like a netbook. One year ago, we got the MacBook Air, but at $1800, it seems a little bit silly now, when compared to some of the sub-$500 dollar netbooks that are out there, that run Windows. So it will be interesting to see if Apple answers, in 2009, with a lower-priced MacBook Air or some sort of new MacBook that is under $1000 and runs basic web applications.
The one thing we know for sure, however, is that 2009 will be the release of Snow Leopard, which also might be a big nod event. Apple claims that Snow Leopard will just be speed improvements and optimizations with really no new features. We're probably going to find out more about this next week, when it's likely that Apple will talk a lot about Snow Leopard at the MacWorld Expo.
Whatever the news, you can be sure that MacMost Now will keep you informed. You can subscribe to us via iTunes at this address (MacMost.com/itunes.html). You can also subscribe to the weekly email newsletter at this address (MacMost.com/newsletter). Until next time, this is Gary Rosenzweig with MacMost Now.