Apple rolls out new iMacs, MacBook Pro, iLife \'06MACWORLD — Apple Computer co-founder and CEO Steve Jobs today kicked-off one of the most highly-anticipated Macworld Expo trade shows ever by providing an update on retail and iPod figures.
He said Apple currently operates 135 retail stores world-wide, which combined to serve over 26 million visitors during the recent holiday quarter. The stores also achieved their first $1B quarter last quarter.
Moving on to the iPod, Jobs said Apple sold 14 million iPods this past holiday quarter — a rate of over 100 iPods per minute. This compares to 4.5 million last holiday quarter. In total, Apple has shipped 42 million iPods to date.
As is the case with iPod sales, Apple's iTunes Music Store continues to excel. Jobs said iTunes customers have purchased and downloaded over 850 million songs so far. Customers are now purchasing songs at a rate of over 3 million per day (over 1 billion songs a year).
Similarly, iTunes Video sales are also on the rise, with 8 million sold since Oct 12th, 2005. Jobs said the music store would also be adding new Saturday Night Live television content throughout the day.
Before drawing his attention completely to the Macintosh, Jobs introduced a single new iPod accessory for fifth-generation iPods: a $49 iPod Radio FM tuner / remote that plugs into an iPod's display to offer on-screen tuning.
Mac OS X 10.4.4
Promising that the rest of his keynote presentation would focus on the Macintosh (which drew applause), Jobs performed a brief demo of the company's new post production image editing tool called Aperture and then immediately shifted to Mac OS X.
Jobs announced Mac OS X 10.4.4, which he said would feature updated calendar and address book widgets from Apple and new widgets from Google and ESPN. Since the release of Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger last April, Jobs said Mac OS X users have created over 1500 authorized Dashboard widgets.
Shifting to digital lifestyle software, Jobs introduced the iLife '06 application suite, which he described as a "giant release" with new music, movies, photo, and blog tools.
A new version of iPhoto is faster than its predecessor and now holds up to 250,000 photos (1000 photos a month for 20 years). The application features full support for Photocasing, which Jobs described as 'podcasting for photos.'
Users of the application can create private and public photo albums and choose to have their public photo albums update automatically on the Internet when changes are made in iPhoto. The new version also adds a greeting card creation feature and a module that will let users create calendars with images.
While Jobs proclaimed that last year would be the year of HD for iMovie, this year he said the company is adding animated themes for movies, real time effects, and new audio tools. The new version also features multiple project support, real-time effects, and the ability to export video to an iPod.
Jobs also introduced a new version of iDVD with support for wide-screen menus, vastly improved slideshows, enhanced map viewing, and support for third-party DVD burners. The new version packs a "Magic iDVD" feature that lets users choose a theme, drop in movies and photos and then click a single button to create a DVD.
Talking about Garageband, Jobs said Apple has built Podcast creation directly into a new version of the audio creation application. The updated application even integrates with iChat for remote interviews, Jobs said. Other new additions to Garageband include 200 royalty-free sound effects, 100-plus royalty-free jingles, automatic "ducking" effect, and a speech enhancer.
Rounding out the iLife '06 announcements, Jobs introduced a sixth application, dubbed iWeb, which lets users share photos, movies, video podcasts, music, blogs, and more on the Web. iWeb features several templates and modules, support for AJAX technology, and one-click instant blog publishing.
Jobs said Apple will sell the new 6 application iLife suite for $79 beginning today. He also announced iWork '06, which includes new features such as advanced image editing, image reflections, free form and masking tools, tables with calculations, and new themes and templates.
Next, Intel chief executive Paul Otellini — dressed in the Intel Bunny Suit costume — joined Jobs on stage to begin introducing the first Macs with Intel processors.
Jobs announced that the first Macs to go Intel would be the iMac, with new 17- and 20-inch models that are nearly identical to their predecessors but sport Intel's new Core Duo processors. Benchmarks show the new iMacs to be 2-3 times the speed of the current iMac G5.
The iMacs will begin shipping today with a native version of Mac OS X 10.4.4, which Jobs said would include all native applications. Additionally, iLife and iWork '06 are both universal binaries.
Apple will be updating many of its Pro applications to universal binaries in March, Jobs said. This includes Final Cut Pro and Aperture. Customers who have already purchased a current version of Apple Pro software will be able to trade in their disc for a universal binary disc for $49.
Third Party Universal Binaries
Jobs said several third party developers are also working on universal binaries of their applications. Microsoft, he said, is "on track" to deliver universal binaries of Office and Messenger sometime in the future while Quark this week will begin shipping a native binary of its desktop publishing software.
Microsoft also renewed its commitment to the Mac, vouching to continue to develop new versions of Microsoft Office for Mac for the next five years.
One More Thing...
Just before closing out his speech, Jobs kept to tradition and announced that he had "One More Thing..."
He said the 15-inch PowerBook product line would be going away in favor of a new "Mac Book Pro." The laptop features a 15.4-inch display and is a hair thinner than the 17" PowerBook. Additionally, it's about 4-5 times as fast as the previous PowerBooks, Jobs said.
Mac Book Pro includes a built-in iSight, IR sensor, Apple Remote, and new Power Adapter. It weighs 5.6lbs and will ship with Front Row software. A 1.67 Core Duo model will retail for $1999, while a high-end 1.83GHz model will sell for $2499.
Apple will begin taking orders for the Mac Book Pro today for shipments beginning next month.
Update: A replay of Steve Jobs' Mac World Keynote Presentation has been posted online.
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