Wednesday, January 10, 2007

AppleTV and iPhone - WOW! But...

Unless you were living in a cave, you know that Apple released details on two products: the AppleTV coming in February and the iPhone, coming to the US in June. 

The Apple TV turns out to be better than I expected, with a hard drive and all sorts of streaming tech for 720p HD video to your TV. At $300, it will be a good value.

The iPhone is... utterly amazing. Simply a work of art and technology. Revolutionary in every way and a dream. Something that, if works as demonstrated, would be great just as an iPod or PDA. Unfortunately the phone network used, GSM isn't available in Japan. It's old tech and frankly should be retired. Furthermore, it's not slated to get to Asia until 2008. I think I've said here before that Apple will have problems getting iPhones into Japan's closed system and through its archaic business negotiation practices. I would guess we'll be lucky to see it in 2 years. Other phone makers will be doing everything they can to block this product. And although Softbank has some promotion with Apple, it's hard to believe they could support these phones better than Docomo or AU. 

So, I've gone from elation to sort of complete deflation. As this amazing device (forget the phone) will likely not be available any time soon.

There was one other announcment, that Apple was changing it's name from "Apple Computer, Inc." to "Apple, Inc.". That was underwhelming.

And there was an unannounced product, a new Airport extreme base station using 802.11n and an AppleTV form factor. $179. Neat! Available in February. Too bad it doesn't have music streaming functions. But you can get that from your AppleTV if you don't have an Airport Extreme.

So - what did this Keynote do for me? Well, I was really impressed by the iPhone, but disappointed in its limited availability. I'm further upset because it's apparent that Apple has no portable computing product that supports my needs. I can't justify hauling around a 5+ lbs laptop. And now that my old G4 is becoming long in the tooth, I'm going to seriously start looking at Windows laptops. WTF is Apple doing with its laptop R&D when unimaginitive companies like ASUS can release small laptops like this. It's really depressing.

Anyway, if you are lucky enough to get your hands on the Apple iPhone this Summer, send us a postcard.

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