MacWorld 2004: What was NOT said

Every year, mac users await announcement of exciting new software and hardware product. Last year, Steve Jobs impressed the computing industry by unveiling a couple of new laptops (the 12 and 17 inch PowerBooks) and offering a truckload of new software packages. This year’s keynote, however, was more significant for what was not said that what was.

Much will be made about the pricing of the mini iPod, with people debating whether it is too expensive or priced well enough so I’m not going to go over that ground here. My view is that anyone who thinks they can get the 15Gb iPod for only 50 dollars more that the mini-iPod has made the kind of mental leap that Apple expects consumers to make.

The decision to introduce a 4 Gb iPod was an interesting one only in the fact that there were no similar announcements about a 2Gb and/or 1Gb device. The question here is why did Apple decide not to introduce products of this kind in the marketplace. I suspect that the reasoning here is that 4Gb is rare enough (In my searches, I could only find one competing device, which has since been discontinued) that it makes it difficult to do side by side comparisons between the new mini-ipods and other products.

The other surprise was the disappearance of the 10Gb iPod. What was the issue with it that forced to obsolete it instead of dropping its price to $250?

On the software end, the fact that no one mentioned anything about the upgrades to iMovie, iPhoto and iDVD being “available for download” to quote the often repeated words of last year’s keynote address, was interesting. The omission was so glaring that I doubted the application had actually been downloadable in the past but, thanks to Google cache, was able to double check my assumption (See the Google cache for iMovie iPhoto, and iDVD)

I guess the iLife suite did not do so well in terms of retailing in the past year. This could have to do with the fact that most of the applications in the suite were available for free (once again, we turn to Google cache for more data). Maybe iDVD and GarageBand were just not enough to even justify the $49 price tag.

All and all, though, it was a very disappointing event, with very little to offer. I guess we’ll have to wait until the developer’s conference in order to feel any kind of excitement for some apple releases this year.

Update:

Jim Heid, from MaciLife points out that only updates were available for iDVD. The whole application was only available either by buying an Apple DVD player or by buying iLife. The reason for this is that the application was too big for download.

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