If you hadn't heard, Apple was the lone bright point in a sea of bad financial news yesterday1. Their last quarter was stupendous. revenue grew 35% year over year, total profit grew about the same amount. Apple's profit margin even grew by a couple of ticks. They're earning more revenue than ever and they're making more profit off of that revenue than ever:
I spend a healthy portion of my time at Macworld doing the following:
Thinking about Google's fixation on the iPhone and
Looking for a really good iPhone dock / Alarm clock.
...Keeping the iPhone in a dock by your bed seems like a no-brainer - charges it up, lets you play a song from your library to wake you up, maybe even lets you catch a quick movie before you fall asleep. Right? Apparently it does all of those things except the last part - the falling asleep part:
We already mentioned that Klausner is suing Apple over Visual Voicemail, to the tune of $360 million. Turns out there were plenty of other folks in on that suit - AT&T, Comcast, the list goes on. Well drop one off that list, SimulScribe. SimulScribe is basically the super-voicemail system for the non-iPhone set: offering both transcribed voicemails and something exactly like the iPhone's Visual Voicemail (SimulSays). Well they've dropped out of the case and settled with Klausner.
One of the most interesting stories at Macworld hasn't gotten a lot of attention in the larger press - namely that Google was around at Macworld a lot more than most people realize. It's not just that they have a medium-sized booth featuring both their Mac products and new iPhone-compatible web offerings. No, the real story about Google at Macworld is that it's very clear that Google has the iPhone on their collective mind in a big, big way.
Google's services will continue to be great on the iPhone even after their Android OS hits the market. Read on to find out why!
Here's some good 1.1.3 news, two pieces of it. Piece one is that 1.1.3 looks to be pretty comprehensive in how much of the firmware is re-written. Which is to say that it seems to overwrite some of the nasty bits that could have been corrupted with a bad AnySIM unlock. If you have an iPhone that's inoperative, it's worth a shot to apply the 1.1.3 patch. Sure, you'll be stuck back on AT&T again, but at least the thing will be functional:
Besides Google (much more on that tomorrow, stay tuned!), there weren't a lot of "iPhone Web Apps" booths. Actually, none that I can remember. What there are a ton of at Macworld are accessories booths. Clearly the accessory market for the iPhone is ramping up quickly and may even near iPod accessory market status sometime soon.
...But it's not there yet. Case in point, I saw probably a dozen different iPod speaker docks -- all of which were "compatible" with the iPhone in flight mode only. Apple is requiring (and rightfully so, I suppose) that accessory makers submit their accessories for their seal of approval, iPhone-wise, so that the dreaded GSM-interference issue is taken care of. I personally wish Apple had managed to handle that on the device rather than forcing companies trying to interact with the Dock connector to re-make their products, but c'est la vie.
Otherwise, the thing to see, iPhone-wise, is cases. There are more skin cases here than you could shake a stick at, but there are some other gems as well. After the break, our three favorite cases at Macworld 2008.
As expected, Jobsy took center stage at San Francisco's Mascone Center, pouring glasses of Kool-Aid to a thirsty yet doe eyed audience. MacWorld, for those of you unfamiliar, is Apple's annual conference and keynote that is part State of the Union address, part infomercial, and part Renaissance Festival (minus the period costumes and jousting) all rolled into one. Jobs gave his usual PT Barnum performance with product announcements and demos to wow the crowd. This is MacWorld after all, so iPhone took a backseat to a major new product added the portable line, MacBook Air. More on that later.
We grabbed a quick look at the ultrathin MacBook Air, just released during Steve Jobs' 2008 Macworld Keynote. The MacBook Air is a pretty sweet little guy - it's ridiculously thin yet full-powered. Our only regret is that it has only 1(!) USB port. Oh, and the little fact that you can't replace the battery. Isn't that kind of a must for a laptop? We smell an accessory opportunity.
Otherwise - the hotness, even at $1799. A quick video of the gigantic crowd fondling the device above.
The MacBook Air is "the world's thinnest notebook." It's ridiculously thin - .76 inches on the back and .16 inches at the front. It fits inside a manilla envelope - Jobs has one in an envelope now! ;) It is INSANELY thin. UNNATURALLY thin. It has a full sized keyboard and display.