Apple CEO Steve Jobs won respect and wild applause during his up-beat keynote address that opened Macworld Expo San Francisco 2003 on Tuesday.
Among the many new and updated products announced were: two new G4 PowerBooks, including one with the world's largest laptop screen, and another that is the world's most compact, fully featured laptop, weighing just 4.6lbs and costing from £1,399 (including VAT); iPhoto 2, iMovie 3 and iDVD 3, which join iTunes 3 in a £39 iLife digital-lifestyle suite; an Apple-created Web browser, Safari; a new Apple presentations application, called Keynote; and a cut-down version of Final Cut Pro, Final Cut Express, costing £249.
Entertaining the faithful Retail Jobs began the keynote by telling the thousands of Mac faithful, media analysts and journalists gathered at San Francisco's Moscone Center that the company's 51 US-based retail Apple Stores made $148 million revenue between October and December 2002. 50 per cent of these sales went to Windows switchers, according to Jobs. 1.4 million people visited the stores in December alone.
OS X Jobs announced that it is entering 2003 with more than 5 million active Mac OS X users, and more than 5,000 native Mac OS X applications.
"We hit our goal," Jobs told the audience, before saying that Apple is 'confident' of doubling the number of OS X users by the end of 2003.
"Mac OS X really came of age with the release of Jaguar last fall, and since then the momentum has been off the charts," said Jobs. "With more than 5 million of our users running Mac OS X, and more than 5,000 native applications, we can now say that the Mac OS X transition is nearly complete."
"There are still one or two laggard OS 9 apps out there - we all know what we're talking about, don't we?" he added, referring to the non-appearance of an OS X-native version of market-leading DTP application, QuarkXPress. "But we hope to pick those up in the next few months."
290,000 US educators have taken advantage of Apple's 'X for Teachers' programme, launched in October, that gives a free copy of Mac OS X version 10.2 to every K-12 teacher in the US. Apple is to extend 'X for Teachers' through March 31, 2003, and roll the programme out to European educators early in the year.
iPod Apple has sold over 600,000 iPods in the 14 months since it released the digital-music player - "that's one every minute," said Jobs. It has become the number-one MP3 player in the key US and Japanese markets - grabbing a 42 per cent market-share in Japan, the spiritual home of consumer electronics.
Jobs showed off a 'beautiful' limited-edition $499 gore-tex sports jacket co-created with snowboarding outfitters Burton that featured an iPod pouch and SOFTswitch iPod controls on its sleeve.
For the full story on the Burton Amp, click here.
Final Cut Express Jobs then showed off a new Apple application, Final Cut Express, which is a cut-down version of the industry's leading video-editor Final Cut Pro. It was demoed by Apple vice president of worldwide product marketing Phil Schiller, who explained that "our customers want the power of Final Cut Pro, but not the expense".
"Now you can edit like a pro for $299 [£249 including VAT in the UK]," he told the keynote audience. For the full story on Final Cut Express, click here.
iLife Returning to the stage, Jobs boasted that Apple is the only company offering a full range of applications for "our new digital lifestyle".
He then demoed updates to three of the company's digital-lifestyle applications: iPhoto 2; iMovie 3, and iDVD 3. Alongside iTunes 3, all are integrated with each other. iPhoto 2 boasts new features including one-click photo Enhance and a Retouch Brush. iMovie 3 includes new video and sound effects. iDVD 3 has 24 new professionally created themes.
Basking in the warm applause and whoops of joy from the digital lifestylers, Jobs commented: "It's why we do what we do".
All the updated i-apps will ship with every new Mac - and, except iDVD 3, will be available as free downloads for current users. Jobs explained that, at hundreds of megabyted, iDVD is not a downloadble option, so will ship with the others in a £39 boxed version, available from January 25.
For the full story on iLife and the updated I-apps, click here.
Safari Apple is going head to head with Microsoft for the best Mac OS X Web browser, by launching its own, called Safari, which the company claims is up to three times faster than Internet Explorer. It has the popular search-engine Google built into its toolbar, and includes new bookmark features and a pop-up ad blocker. For the full story on Safari, click here.
Keynote Another Microsoft product is also in Apple's sights, PowerPoint. Apple introduced a £79 presentations package called Keynote, that Jobs says was built for him. He claimed to have been beta-testing it for a year - using it at all of 2002?s keynotes.
"Our goal in Keynote is to make it look like a whole graphics department has laboured night and day on your presentation, while you actually expend zero effort in making stunning slides" Jobs told the crowd - who were then sent into raptures when je announced that everyone present would be getting a free copy when they left the hall.
For the full story on Keynote, click here.
New PowerBooks "The titanium PowerBook is the number-one lust object" claimed Jobs as he prepared to introduce two new aluminium-alloy G4 PowerBooks.
"We bet notebooks will soon outsell desktops," he said. "And we plan to lead the industry in this trend. 2003 will be the year of the notebook for Apple"
For the full story on the 17-inch widescreen PowerBook and 12-inch compact PowerBook, click here.
AirPort Extreme The new PowerBooks include support for the next-generation of wireless networking, based on the 802.11g standard that promises 54Mbps speeds compared to 802.11b?s 11Mbps.
Jobs called the new AirPort Extreme prodcust "another giant leap forward".
For the full story on AirPort Extreme, click here.
For all the news and pictures from Macworld Expo San Francisco 2003, click here.