For two consecutive days, during the keynote this last Tuesday, and then yesterday, Wednesday 16th, the Apple stock took a pretty serious dive (beating). Dropped like a stone from its mid 180s to the high 150s. In a certain way, this was easily predictable on the speculation that the revelations of His Jobness were going to be anything but sexy compared to a year ago. Couldn't possibly surpass the iPhone announcement, point blank. No way...
IMNSHO, however, once the dust settles, most people will realize that the value of some of El Jobso's paradigm shift announcements (especially the video rentals and all AppleTV related functionalities) are likely to change our lives for good and eventually become as pervasive as the iPod. We'll have to wait 'n see, won't we?
Jobs announced four items, relating to central storage management for households (very obvious but yet clever solution), Apple TV upgrades and video rentals, iPhone and iPod Touch software upgrades and finally an ultra-thin Mac, the MB Air.
I happen to own an iPod Touch, so I obviously rushed to upgrade it and I can tell you, the experience that comes with the four add-ons is stunning. This thing is huge. I don't have an iPhone (not yet possible here) but I visualize the iPhone functionality on top of what I see on my iPod Touch and I feel close to 'nirvana' at the thought. The email functionality is phenomenal. The collaboration between maps and contacts and the GPS alike functionality (without the location function which is not yet available in here) is mind boggling. The way the device seamlessly collaborates with the rest of my Mac gear is so well done. These guys know how to build computer stuff, trust me.
I also believe that what they did with the AppleTV is very well done too; only concern I have is that if you become a 'heavy' user of the AppleTV goodies then, most probably, you won't be left with any serious download capacity available for your regular stuff. Even with the highest compression an HD movie is bound to consume the lion share of your monthly download volumes. For regular folks with plain vanilla subscriptions and monthly download capacities in the tenths of gigabytes (as opposed to hundreds) then fo'get'boutit... it's not gonna be practical at all. One day, it might, but it's not for now though.
Finally, I got some difficulty to see the need for an MB Air. It's a pretty pricey toy and it's definitely an early 'try' for a future vision of portable computing. 'Wireless' is large part of it and 'multi-touch' (not on screen though but on the keyboard pad) is used in some early form of what is potentially feasible for laptops. All this is nice (to have) but anyone could get a much more spec'ed MacBook for far less money (albeit not as elegant as the Air MB), thus, whom exactly they plan to serve with this ultra-thin piece of gear is a mystery to me. Maybe some hi-tech show-offs?
However, the most important message you may wanna take away from the MB Air launch is the fact that it is showing us the way computers might evolve in the future: Seamlessly networked for backups and doing software installs via sharing of optical (or other) storage resources, all this via wireless connectivity, with DVDs and CDs becoming progressively a thing of the past and with increased multi-touch functionality, eventually applied to displays, the latter becoming thinner (and flexible) via OLED technologies (as we show them appear at the 2008 CES). The MB Air is a first step in that direction and could be seen this way. However, whether the average Joe feels that stylish in our days as to wanna spend the dough to own an Air portable right now remains to be seen... I wouldn't hold my breath though...
The last thing that was notable about Jobs' speech is that the rumor mill about the specifics of the keynote in the days and hours before the actual event proved extremely accurate, at least about the most important announcements of the day. We already knew about the rentals and the ultrathin laptop; even a Photoshoped prototype, pretty close to the real thing, appeared on the net last Monday. Meaning that the Apple marketing machinery must be playing some pretty slick games on their target geek audiences.
It remains now for the stock to start moving back to the 200s as it should...
PS. Take a look at Fake Steve Jobs post on the Keynote. A scream... as we are used of him!