MacWorld 2007 keynote

Peacock near The Trout

Sure Apple gets millions worth of free advertising by releasing its products in their glitzy, spectacular way. At the same time, it is hard for a geeky Mac fan not to comment.

Everyone expected Apple to announce the iPhone at Macworld, though there does seem to be more to this device than most people expected. Everyone expected it to be an iPod and a phone, in this case it has 8GB of storage, and most expected it to be widescreen. The two megapixel camera is probably pretty poor – as telephone cameras universally are – but it could be useful regardless. The biggest surprise is that the thing runs OS X, rather than the proprietary and limited systems generally associated with smartphone and Blackberry type devices. Combined with the embedded sensors (proximity, ambient light, and an accelerometer), I imagine people are going to come up with some pretty amazing hacks for these devices.

The iPhone is a quad-band GSM + EDGE phone with WiFi and Bluetooth 2.0. A lot of people probably expected it to be 3G, but this is a better move for Apple. 3G has pretty much been a disaster for everyone who bet on it. The fact that it seems capable of talking to WiFi networks is also a big plus, especially if it can be used to do VoIP in an elegant way. The fact that it does not is unsurprising, but also a letdown. I am personally looking forward to the days when mobile phones automatically form mesh networks to pass traffic between themselves. That would circumvent the need for network infrastructure for calls within densely populated places and really change the business circumstances in which cellular service providers found themselves.

The mundane issues are more what concerns me: it looks like the starting price is US$499 for a 4GB model and US$599 for the 8GB and they will start shipping in June. Those prices are based on signing up for a two year phone contract, also. There’s no way it makes sense to buy the release version, as there are usually a couple of serious flaws that get sorted out in the next version. (Not that I will be spending $600 on such a device any time in the foreseeable future.) The battery life is supposedly sufficient for five hours of talk time and sixteen hours of audio listening. If true, that is better than my iPod Shuffle, and enormously better than my old 20GB 4th generation iPod.

Like a lot of people, I am curious about whether this device will stand up to everyday abrasion better than the iPod Nanos do. There’s also no way I would even consider buying this platform before Skype or something similar can be run on it.

Author: Milan

In the spring of 2005, I graduated from the University of British Columbia with a degree in International Relations and a general focus in the area of environmental politics. In the fall of 2005, I began reading for an M.Phil in IR at Wadham College, Oxford. Outside school, I am very interested in photography, writing, and the outdoors. I am writing this blog to keep in touch with friends and family around the world, provide a more personal view of graduate student life in Oxford, and pass on some lessons I've learned here.

10 thoughts on “MacWorld 2007 keynote”

  1. Looks like the battery life is around 5 hours if you’re using it in phone/video/internet mode. The price is going to be $599. I might be a Macphile, but there’s no way I’d shell out that kind of cash, no matter what cool features it has.

  2. Well, I am no longer interested:

    “”In an interview with the New York Times, Steve Jobs confirms reports that the recently-announced iPhone will not allow third party applications to be installed. According to Jobs, ‘These are devices that need to work, and you can’t do that if you load any software on them.’

    Via Slashdot

  3. “We know that Steve Jobs has said the iPhone won’t accept third-party apps. The iPhone looks to be running on a Samsung provided ARM core processor. That means it’s not running on an Intel (or PPC) core. That means it’s not running OS X in any meaningful sense (Apple can brand toilet paper as running OS X if they like). Darwin, the BSD based operating system that underlies what Apple has previously been calling OS X, does not run on ARM processors. The Darwin / Apple Public Source licensing agreement says the source would have to be made available if it is modified and sold (paraphrased; read it yourself). A Cingular rep has said the iPhone version of the OS source will not be made available. It will be closed, like the iPod OS and not like Darwin. So if it ain’t Darwin, it ain’t OS X (in any meaningful way). An InfoWorld article on an FBR Research report breaks down iPhone component providers and lists Samsung as the chip maker for the main application / video cpu. So, that leaves the question… What OS is this phone really running? Not Linux or the source would need to be open.”

    via Slashdot

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *