Well, another Macworld has been and gone, we have a new stock of Apple goodies to slurp up our disposable cash, and we get to tally our score and see how well we did with our predictions. In some ways this keynote was rather disappointing, so many of the rumours were true! That’s the second year in a row that we’ve had the big news leak before the show. Then you have the fact that there was no ‘and one more thing’ announcement. On the other hand though, if you just look at what was actually announced it was a very impressive Macworld. There were also some wonderful surprises in the details. Sure, we knew we were getting movie rentals, but with so many studios? Sure, we knew we were getting the 1.1.3 mobile OS X (as I call it) firmware, but we had no idea we’d be getting mail and Google Maps on the iPod Touch! Then we come to the ultra-portable, sure, we were expecting it, but really, I wasn’t expecting something quite so thin yet big. So, although there were no surprises in the over-all structure of the keynote, there were some wonderful surprises in the details. Oh, and I did well with my predictions 🙂

[tags]Macworld, Steve Jobs, Apple, Keynote[/tags]

While I’m gloating I may as well keep going, by my calculations I got four, maybe five, out of six real predictions. Not bad! There was no mention of the iPhone coming to more countries and there was only very limited information given on iTunes video content for Europe, just that Apple were going international “later this year”. I hope Ireland counts as international!

Sadly my pet wish for the year didn’t come through either, no wireless syncing for the iPod Touch, just wireless Time Machine if you buy a new gadget from Apple. Had I not just bought three new external hard drives for all the Macs in the house I might have cared, right now I really don’t.

Stepping back and looking at the big picture the movie rentals combined with the updated AppleTV make for one hell of a package. I wouldn’t want to be a netflix share holder right now! I don’t like to talk in clichés but this does rather strike me as a game changer. The iTunes music store shook up the music industry, could the new iTunes movie rental store do the same for the film industry? Perhaps. What is certain is that Apple TV is much more than a ‘hobby’ now. A few weeks ago some analysts were writing the Apple TV off as a failure and a product with no real future. Woops!

Finally, the MacBook Air – what a terrible name! No really, so un-Apple like. When I heard the rumoured name I just they were wrong, Apple can do better than that! Well, turns out the rumours were pretty much spot on in many ways. What the rumours simply didn’t convey was the technical marvel that this product is. They got Intel to design a smaller Core 2 Duo die just for Apple! When you think about how much is in this paper-thin laptop it just beggers belief. I mean, they even got a full-sized back-lit keyboard in there! What did surprise me though was the size. Keeping the screen at 13.3″ certainly lets you have your full-sized keyboard but it makes the MacBook Air a lot bigger than the old 12″ PowerBooks. Mind you, the very light weight and very thin form-factor probably more than make up for the extra width. There does seem to be one fly in the MacBook Air ointment though. From what I’ve heard from people at the keynote it doesn’t seem to have a user-changeable battery. Whether or not that’s a real problem you can rest assured that Apple will take a big PR hit for it should it prove to be the case.

Personally, I have no use for a MacBook Air, but if I were to be in a job where I had to spend a lot of time on the road or on planes, I’m sure I’d be trading in my MacBook Pro for one of these. However, since I do very little travelling and use my laptop as more of a portable desktop, I’m much better off with my larger and more powerful 17″ MacBook Pro.

BTW, the keynote video has appeared on the Apple site so you can now watch the keynote yourself.