Macworld 2008: Steve Jobs' Keynote Speech Liveblog

Macworld 2008


Live coverage of Steve Jobs’ Keynote Presentation at Macworld 2008. All times are GMT (PST +8 hours), most recent entries at top of page.

UK Apple Store now open

UK prices as follows:

  • MacBook Air: from £1,199
  • AppleTV (hardware) from £199
  • Time Capsule from £199

1831: It’s all over bar the singing. Stay tuned to Tech Digest for the highlights and more opinion.

1830: Playing out with Randy Newman, Academy Award Winner (no “one more thing” this year folks)

1830: So to summarise: New Mac Pros announced last week, Time Capsule, s/ware updates for iPhone and iPod Touch, iTunes movie rentals, Apple TV s/ware updates, MacBook Air.

1828: Environmental factors

[In an attempt to appease Greenpeace… Ed.] fully aluminium case, good for recycling, fully mercury and lead-free display, circuit boards BFR free, retail packaging 56% less than MacBook.

1825: Pre-orders today, available in two weeks

1819: Otellini speaking

Processor is as thick as nickel and wide as dime.
1809: Something in the Air

Steve back on stage, to announce the “MacBook Air” – Apple’s latest notebook (a third kind of notebook)

MacBook Air will be “the world’s thinnest notebook”

Most people think of Sony TZ Series as thin: 3lb PC, 11/12-inch display, mini k/board, slower proc. 3lb is good target weight but compromise with other features.

So: MacBook Air is 0.16 inch to 0.76 inch thin – thickest part of the MBA is thinner than the thinnest part of the Sony. Fits inside an envelope (LOL, what kind of envelope, Steve?)

Comes with magnetic latch, 13.3-inch widescreen, LED backlit display, iSight inbuilt, Macbook-like keyboard with ambient light sensor, multi-touch trackpad.

Trackpad sounds like it is based rather on iPhone gestures, and then some. Move window by double-tapping and moving. Rotate by pivoting index finger around thumb. Pinch zoom.

1.8″ 80GB hard drive as standard, 64GB SSD (“pricey but fast”) as an option. 1.6GHz Intel Core 2 Duo standard processor, 1.8 GHz option.

Intel has shrunk the Core 2 Duo processor by 60%.

45W MagSafe, 1 USB 2.0 port, Micro-DVI, audio out, 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1 EDR, 2GB memory.

no optical drive, but superdrive accessory available for $99. s/w comes with MBA to allow you to “borrow” PC or Mac optical drive.

5 hrs battery life.


Jim Gianopulos, Chairman/CEO 20th Century Fox on stage

20CF was first studio to make movie rentals available on iTunes.

Talking about making great movies, getting into as many people’s hands as possible.

Singing the praises of Apple, talking about video rentals not being new but Apple being intuitive. “Transformative version of the rental model”

1800: Apple TV free software update so presumably if you bought a doorstop unit last year, you can get the new features just with firmware. Nice.

S/ware out in two weeks time.

As for new hardware units, the entry level price is now US$229.

1759: Basically, you can do pretty much anything iTunes related on the Apple TV. Seems a far cry from the first version, mostly because there’s CONTENT. At least, if you live in North America.

1757: Retrieving screensavers from dot Mac web galleries. No, no sarcastic comments about no-one using dot Mac anyway.

1755: Still demoing: searching for music.

high definition video podcasts.

Oh look… Veronica Belmont… not cashing in on anything there Steve, eh?

1748: Can preview movies from interface, see what other have rented.

1744: Apple TV

Take two on what was seen as a flop (my words, not Steve’s).

No computer required, rent movies direct from the Apple TV, in DVD and high definition quality with Dolby 5.1 sound.

Sync with iTunes. Podcasts. Photos from Flickr and .Mac.

HD rentals will cost $4.99. 100 titles already available.

Full DVD quality (480p) and presumably the HD is 720p (web downloading of 1080p is unlikely, at least, will clarify this when the specs come out)

Now demoing. Searches.

1736: iTunes (this is the third thing by the way)

4 billion songs sold as of last week.

20 million songs sold on Christmas Day – a new record (what? nothing better to do?)

125m TV shows, 7m movies. Above competition, but apparently not meeting expectations.

Rental Service: Touchstone, MGM, Miramax, Lionsgate, Newline, FOX, WB, Disney, Paramount, Universal, Sony are all on board. Not bad. Looks like the sources were correct.

Rentals will hold for 30 days, then when started watching, last for 24 hours. Watch instantly. Library titles $2.99 new releases $3.99

US launching today, internationally later this year.

Over one thousand movies will be available 30 days after the DVD is released. Can be watched on Macs, PCs, iPods, iPhone.

1734: iPod Touch: new applications: mail, stocks, notes, weather, maps

1733: Map location No, there’s no secret GPS in the iPhone. It works via a service called Skyhook wireless which has mapped hotspots throughout US and Canada, then combined with Google data, using triangulation from cell towers.

Sounds like it won’t work in the UK for a while, then. Not unless someone else has been mapping data here. But then we’re used to that.

1730: Webclips Can create up to 9 shortcuts on the home page, and iPhone remembers where zoomed in on the page etc.

1725: New iPhone features being demoed

1723: SDK for iPhone & new features

Ahh the SDK is still scheduled for February, but Steve wants to give iPhone users new functionality now.

New features: maps with location, webclips, customised home screen, SMS multiple people. Hmm, sounds like leaked firmware 1.1.3 is genuine.

1723: Claims 19.5% of US smartphone market behind RIM (BlackBerry etc.)

1721: iPhone

Today is the 200th day since the iPhone went on sale, 4 million. So that’s 20,000 per day sold on average.

Now, will Steve talk about non-US sales? Remember the Apple UK gagging order…

Heh, looks like not.

1719: Time Capsule

Steve talking about how Leopard backup feature Time Machine doesn’t work so well for laptops because you have to constantly plug/unplug hard drive.

So introducing Time Capsule, which is a full Airport Extreme (ie Wi-Fi hub) base station with “server grade” internal hard drive.

For backing up wirelessly, 500GB version for $299, 1TB $499. I won’t be converting dollars here, because we all know how much more the UK pays for equipment.

1717: Leopard

20% of existing Mac OS X users (ie pre-Leopard) have upgraded already.

5 million copies delivered in first 3 months – most successful OS X release yet.

1715: Ahh, here he is. Steve will talk about four things today.

1714: Lights dim. New Mac commercial playing

1710: The music goes on

Meanwhile, anyone hoping to Twitter the keynote could be sorely disappointed – it’s mysteriously gone down.

Did someone forget to put this in Steve’s iCal schedule?

1705: Oh, it’s so we can all listen to Jobs’ taste in music

1704: Why do these things never start on time?

1700: Yes, I am here! Nothing much of note to report… yet. Hold tight for the ride…

1635: Apple Stores are already down (US / UK)

Andy Merrett
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  • I am a Big fan of Apple products. But is costlier in India compared to USA.

  • I was bored so I did a spreadsheet to show the Macbook pricing differential between the US and the UK.

    It’s here Macbook US and UK price difference.

    Oh – and Google Spreadsheet (or Docs – whatever) is pretty damn cool for sharing spreadsheets online.

  • Well -I started off being exited by the Air, and then the price hit – £500 more than the standard Macbook…way too much I think. So now, I’m pretty much meh.

    Also, with the exchange rates the way they are, the price difference between the UK and US Apple stores is not much (about 5%) – if you compare the ex VAT price with that in the US (where the prices never include sales tax)

  • What the hell are you talking about? Actually I’m incredibly optimistic, even when I do get grief from idiots / trolls like yourself.

    I’m not miserable at all. They’re supposed to be semi-humorous quips about the state of the UK being ripped off, and what a LOT of people have said about Apple.

    I’ve been a Mac user for 15 years, and own a lot of Apple gear. I love them. Have you NEVER read any of my other stuff? But of course I can’t win because if I say how WONDERFUL everything is I just get told I’m a fanboy.

    Perhaps you should stop speculating about my bank balance (it’s none of your business how much money I make, and actually I would do this even if I weren’t getting paid)

    This is a BLOG. Go back to the Financial Times if you’re not happy.

  • You’re such a miserable git, Andy. For Christ’s sake, lighten up a little with your anti-Mac comments.

    It’s poor journalism to have to quip between every statement due to being a jaded underpaid writer.

Comments are closed.