Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Apple: Good news, bad news and no news

Apple announced its updated MacBooks and MacBook Pros yesterday. Here's my take on the announcements:
  • No news: With very few exceptions, everything that Apple announced yesterday had already been leaked in detail. There was a time when Apple could keep secrets. No more.

  • Bad news: Even with the LED backlit displays, multitouch-enabled touchpads without mouse buttons and cases carved out of a single block of aluminum, there was little in yesterday's announcement to generate excitement. Despite switching to Nvidia chip sets and graphics controllers, the performance of the MacBooks and MacBook Pros still lags behind that of comparably priced notebooks from other manufacturers.
  • Good news: Steve Jobs shared the stage with COO Tim Cook and head of design Jonathan Ive. As I wrote about earlier this month, one way for Apple to avoid manipulation of its stock price through rumors about Steve Jobs's health is to demonstrate that it has a strong management team. The company is starting to do that.
One has to be concerned about the direction that Apple's new product development is taking. There's a real sense of incremental improvement in the iPhone, iPods and now the MacBooks. The last earth-shaking announcement was the original iPhone, which feels like it occurred decades ago. I hope that we'll see something really new, not just improved, soon.
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