Thoughts on Steve Jobs' Macworld Keynote

I'm not usually an Apple fanboy, but I decided to check out Steve Jobs' Macworld keynote this year. The webcast was provided by Apple (nb: they force you to download the latest iTunes + Quicktime in order to watch it).

I'm not usually an Apple fanboy, but I decided to check out Steve Jobs' Macworld keynote this year. The webcast was provided by Apple (nb: they force you to download the latest iTunes + Quicktime in order to watch it). Steve wowed us with some big numbers, including impressive iPod figures. Apple sold 14m ipods last quarter, a figure which was met with rapturous applause and wonderment from the Macworld audience. Steve then announced that Apple has sold 42 million ipods in total now - 32m of which were sold in the 2005 calendar year.

The iTunes figures are equally impressive. 850 songs in itunes, 3m downloaded per day, a staggering 83% market share. All of this elicited more rapturous applause from the faithful - and a curious bird-like peep of "wooo!" from Steve. The numbers didn't stop there. 8m videos (tv shows) sold since their introduction in October 05, baby!

ipoddrip
Apple fans line up to get their fix from an iPod Drip - photo by andyi

The most interesting announcements for me were:

  • iLife 06 - described by Steve as a "giant new release"
  • Photocasting - "podcasting for photos". It automatically uploads photo albums from a .mac account. People can subscribe to photo albums, so that whenever there's a change they download it automatically. It uses "industry standard" rss. 
  • The new 6th app in the iLife suite is iWeb, which is basically a blogging tool for Apple. iWeb allows Mac users to build a website "in a few minutes" with media from other iLife apps - like photos, podcasts, movies. Steve described it as "rich media to share with all of your family".

At that point my connection to the webcast went kaput, but once again Engadget has all the details - great job at both CES and Macworld, weblogsinc!

While I'm not a Mac user at present (I was last year), it's obvious to me that Apple is making big strides at making the Mac a powerful and simple media creation tool for everyday people. I'm particularly impressed with the iLife suite, which now includes the blog-like iWeb. I don't need to remind you how important the read/write, two-way Web is to me, so I must admit I emitted one or two bird-like peeps of "wooo!" myself during Jobs' presentation.

Also Apple's ipod/itunes numbers are truly impressive. Apple would love it if the new iLife/iWeb functionality, unveiled at Macworld today, helped them gain similar momentum with PC sales. Wouldn't that make for an interesting 2006 - if Apple PC sales numbers skyrocketed in the same year that Microsoft releases its new Vista OS?

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