Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Apple's Jobs Wows the Crowd at Macworld

Apple Computer introduced new Intel-powered desktop and notebook computers, said its wildly popular iPods helped drive a 63 percent jump in holiday quarter sales, and indicated it sold 1.25 million Macintosh computers during the holiday quarter when sales at its own retail stores were about $1 billion.

Apple sold 14 million iPods music and video players during the holiday quarter and 42 million to date. Jobs said that iPods were supply-limited. Speaking at the company's annual Macworld conference in San Francisco, CEO Steve Jobs claimed the iTunes store has so far sold 850 million songs.

The strong demand for iPods and Macs fueled a 63 percent jump in revenue to a record $5.7 billion compared with a year earlier, beating Wall Street concensus.

The company introduced new computers based on Intel Corp. chips. The company's new line of iMac computers would come in the same shape and sizes as the existing G5 line of iMacs, with starting prices at $1,299 and with twice the G5 performance. It also introduced a new high-end laptop called the MacBook Pro that will replace its PowerBook series, starting in February at prices beginning at $1,999. Some eyebrows were raised as Apple will be shipping the new Intel-based products six months before it said it would. The early shipments are likely to fuel a greater whole-year market share gain by Apple.

iLife photo and media software is updated in a new version of its suite of digital media editing tools for use in organizing and editing music, photos and movies and Web sites. ILife, which costs $79, also includes the ability to edit high-definition videos.

With its own stores generating over $22 million in annual sales each -- Best Buys stores do about $30M -- the company is clearly profiting by its own channel. Recall how Gateway tried the same strategy and failed.

Wall Street was ecstatic.

1 comment:

  1. If I may add the "gee whiz" factor, aka things I thought sounded kewl that Jobs demoed at the Mac keynote. From Engadget, they were live blogging it:

    12:31 PM - "Wouldn't it be great if every time I updated a photo album, people subscribed to it would get the latest photos?"

    12:32 PM - It works through .Mac. You can set a password. "Whenever there's a change, those changes will get downloaded right into their subscription album. They can make their cards with them, they can set their desktop pictures with them... We use industry standard RSS, so anyone can subscribe - you don't even need a Mac."
    12:33 PM - He's going to give a demo. The best one-line explanation: Imagine grandparents who have their screen saver set to be photos of the grandchildren. Every time the parents update the album, gramma's slide show automatically starts showing the new pix.

    12:48 PM - "Hi, I'm Steve and welcome to my weekly podcast, Super-secret Apple Rumors." (huge laughs) "I have some pretty good sources inside Apple, and the next iPod is going to be HUGE, like 8 pounds ... See you next week."

    12:54 PM - Demo done. "We want to share these things ... increasingly, we want to share them over the Internet ... increasingly, a lot of us want to build a web site. So today we are introducing a sixth app into the ilife suite to let us do exactly that. To share photos ... video podcasts ... music ... blogs ... we call this new app iWeb." Isn't that name, um, a bit recursive?

    12:55 PM - Slide of a simple 2x2 matrix: "Easy/Hard" vs "Ugly/Beautiful" Hmm, what quadrant will iWeb be in? Features: Apple-designed templates, iLife media browser, online photo albums, blogs, podcasts, 1-click publishing. He shows sample pages than can be created in a few seconds.

    12:56 PM - He shows sample pages than can be created in a few seconds.

    12:56 PM - It's published through .Mac, natch. "Looks great in Firefox. Any RSS reader can subscribe to your blog."

    12:59 PM - Demo. People laugh and clap when songs he posts to his site are auto-linked to the iTunes store.

    1:01 PM - "Now I'm going to make a blog, so I'm going to pick a blog page. " The template has a big photo cross the top with the title overlaid, like Scripting News.

    1:02 PM - "I've got a podcast somebody made that I can drop right in ... Let me tell you something else that's really cool. I'm going to back to Garage Band ..."

    1:03 PM - He clicks Send Podcast to iWeb and it gets auto-bundled. Dialog box: Do you want to put it into a blog or a podcast? Click. The blog is updated instantly with the right XML/HTML. He hits Publish. Taskbar "Uploading to Mac ... Photos ... About Me ... Podcasts ... " It takes about as long as booting OS X on%uFFFDour old 12-incher.
    1:33 PM - He's going to demo "video conferencing to go."

    1:34 PM - Apple stand-up coming Phil Schiller%uFFFDis on iChat ... and he's standing in the aisle next to us! He does a 360 swoop of the audience, which looks great onscreen -- like he's on a merry-go-round.

    1:35 PM - "We also got the IR sensor and the Apple remote .. we've got Front Row built right in ... Another really cool feature. We call this new feature MagSafe."

    1:36 PM - "How many of you have ever had your notebook go flying off your desktop when someone caught the cord in their foot?" Millions of hands around the world just raised. [My hand shot up]

    1:36 PM - "The power adapter is magnetically held in. When the cord gets yanked it just pulls right off. This will safe us a lot of hassle with having to fix your notebooks. Patent pending!" Always thinking of yourself, Steve.

    (I hope it shows up right)


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