For a couple of weeks, Apple has been promising big things for its CEO's opening keynote address at Macworld Expo San Francisco 2002. Now Steve Jobs has unwrapped a totally redesigned iMac, updated the iBook with a larger-screened model, made Mac OS X the default operating system on all new Macs, and completed the company's suite of digital-hub applications with iPhoto.
(Click on the links in this article to read our full reports of the Macworld Expo keynote news.)
By any Macworld Expo keynote standards, that's a lot of stuff – and, following the non-selling power Mac G4 Cube, the new flat-panel G4 iMac is quite a gamble for the company that was revitalized by the original CRT G3 iMac – of which it sold six million units.
iPod sales Jobs began his speech by revealing that, in less than 60 days since its November 10 launch, Apple had sold over 125,000 units of its iPod digital-music player.
Retail numbers The Apple boss also praised his company's 27 new bricks-and-mortar retail US stores, which he claimed had attracted 800,000 visitors – "that's about 10 times as many attendees as are expected at this Macworld Expo," he boasted. Of all the Macs sold in the stores, 40 per cent of them are sold to new customers, he revealed.
OS X 'floodgates' Jobs claimed that since Mac OS X 10.1 shipped three months ago, "the floodgates have opened for OS X software applications". A selection of third-party software developers came on to stage to demo their X-ready products, and Adobe even showed-off an early version of its yet-to-be released Photoshop for Mac OS X.
Dan Gregoire, animatrics supervisor for Star Wars maker LucasFilm, showed how important Mac OS X and Alias-Wavefront's Maya for Mac, had been to the making of the forthcoming 'second' Star Wars episode.
Maike Rogers, president of game-maker Aspyr, also got on the Darth Vader bandwagon by announcing that Star Wars: Galactic battlegrounds would ship for Mac in 2002. He also demoed the Harry Potter game, and spoke of a new Sims module.
The first big announcement of the keynote was the news that Apple will now install Mac OS X as the default operating system on all new Macs. If they so desire, users can still boot Mac OS 9 as their operating system of choice - but new users will begin their Mac journey on the latest – and so says Apple, greatest – Mac OS.
A year of the digital hub Jobs talked up his now year-old vision of the Mac as the hub of all of our digital lifestyles. Since the 2001 Macworld Expo here in San Francisco, Apple has released iMovie 2, iTunes 1 and 2, iDVD 1 and 2, and this week's iPhoto. The company also started shipping its first digital device", the 5GB iPod MP3 player.
"iMovie and iDVD dramatically enhance our digital lifestyle, but iTunes and iPhoto physically require a computer – and specifically a Mac computer," Jobs told his audience – which packed the 5,000-seater hall. (Spotted in the crowd, Jobs' fellow Apple Computer co-founder Steve Wozniak.)
"Recently, everybody consumes but no one authors," Jobs said of the modern world. "Apple's products have changed that. With iMovie, iDVD and iPhoto, we can all author content – as well as consume it."
Jobs claimed that iDVD is "going to explode" in 2002 – revealing that Apple sold over a million blank DVD-R discs in 2001.
Innovate to survive Jobs told the keynote audience - and the hundred-thouand watching via the live Web-cast – that Apple will innovate its way through the current economic climate that has seen its PC rivals cut R&D budgets and lay-off staff.
"We've been very busy over the last 12 months," Jobs said. "We think we see the future, and the next golden age of computing – and that's the digital lifestyle that is the future of the personal computer."
"And we're not going to stop," he promised to rapturous applause from the mass of Mac fans in San Francisco.
Visit our Expo round-up pages and picture gallery from the show.