Here are a few reactions from the tech press following yesterday’s WWDC keynote.
Over all, the presentation Monday morning was dizzying. There were many, many truly ingenious features revealed, some that played catch-up, and a lot to look forward to. None of it proves whether or not Tim Cook and his team can dream up entirely new product categories, the way Steve Jobs did. But for now, they’re doing an excellent job of keeping excitement alive in Apple’s current suite of machines.
John Gruber (on the retina MacBook Pros):
The catch is that it’s expensive. That’s why it debuted alongside a brand-new update to the 15-inch non-retina MacBook Pro, rather than replacing it. If you can afford it (and don’t need the optical drive or spinning hard disk), you want the new one. And surely we’re going to see displays of this caliber roll out across the MacBook line, one by one, as soon as it becomes economically feasible. (And, I presume, the iMac and Cinema Displays, too. It’s just a matter of time.)
Best to compare it to the original MacBook Air from 2008. The first Air was expensive and not for everyone, but it showed the future of Apple’s (and, really, the industry’s) portables. That’s what the new 15-inch MacBook Pro is: the future of portable Macs.
Gene Munster, Piper Jaffrey:
We believe the biggest takeaway is that Apple is strengthening not only the interaction within its own ecosystem, but also creating a consortium of powerful web partners to offer an experience that largely falls outside of Google’s walls. We believe this focus on integrating important web partners continues to meaningfully differentiate iOS from Android. We believe Google is unlikely to ever engage in the same type of partnership as Apple and Facebook, making the iPhone the de-facto ‘Facebook phone’…
Peter Misek, Jeffries:
Tim Cook delivered a solid performance aided by a strong cast, in our view. We believe there are plenty of new products and updates for both developers and consumers to get excited about… We believe there was too much content for a TV to be announced. We now see a TV being unveiled at its own event likely within the next 3 to 6 months. We believe the launch of the device is still a 2H 2012 event.
In several places during the nearly two-hour keynote, Scott Forstall, Apple’s senior vice president for iOS software, referred to areas where the mobile software called iOS outperformed Google’s Android software, such as user satisfaction.
“More than 75% of our customers checked the top box, very satisfied, compared to less than 50% for the competition,” he said, referring to Android. Even Siri, who welcomed the crowd with a light-hearted video intro, took aim. Among her first jokes was a jab at Android’s different version names, which are desserts. “Hey, any of you guys been working with Ice Cream Sandwich or Jelly Bean? Who’s been making up these code names, Ben and Jerry?” she said.
Though the truly startling number Mr. Cook shared — and note that he spelled it out to the developers — is that Apple now has 400 million active accounts in iTunes with credit cards. That means that all of Apple’s iOS devices are linked to those credit cards, too.
Think about that for a moment. While companies like Google have been trying to shift consumers to use mobile phones to pay for products, rather than cash or cards, one of the biggest hurdles stopping consumers has been the laborious task of linking a smartphone to a plastic credit card. People who have tried to use services like Google Wallet initially have to type in long lists of numbers, addresses and more. A barrier, to say the least.
Yet if Apple decides to get into the payments business — and it is very likely the company will, based on patents it has filed in the past — it will have a much easier time converting customers.
In fact, Apple already has.
Once someone logs into an iPhone and downloads or syncs music or apps, the iTunes account is automatically linked to the phone, as is the credit card and payment information. All the company needs to do is resolve how payments would happen with a card.
- WWDC 2012: Apple Had a Pretty Amazing Day [Wwdc2012] (gizmodo.com)
- Video of WWDC 2012 Keynote Now Available (macrumors.com)
- Apple WWDC 2012 Keynote Round-Up (slashgear.com)