The Macworld Expo keynote is over. How well did I do with my last minute predictions?
Not very well. I started off with a bang, nailing that new versions of iLife and iWork would be the initial announcements at the Expo.
From there, I quickly headed downhill.
There was no preview of Mac OS X 10.6.
Much worse, none of the hardware that I had anticipated showed up. No Mac mini, no new iMacs or Mac Pros. Instead, the lone hardware introduction was one that i did not predict: a 17" MacBook Pro. In truth, I had considered that a 17" MacBook Pro would be unveiled. Everyone knew it was coming...eventually. I just didn't think they would use the Expo to make the announcement.
On the minor plus side, I give myself a few points for correctly predicting that there would be no new iPhone, iPod or netbook hardware.
Maybe I should have seen that Apple was going to withhold new hardware until a later date (as I discuss more in my latest User Friendly View column). But I just didn't want to believe it.
Oh well, at least there's no risk of me doing worse next year; there won't be an Apple keynote.
iPhone software on the floor?
On a related subject, I've now had a little time to walk the Expo floor. A bit to my surprise, there were very few booths showing iPhone App Store software. According to my sources, this was at least partly due to pressure from Apple -- they view the Expo (correctly I suppose) as primarily a Mac event, not an Apple event. They wanted the message of the Expo to be almost all about the Mac. True to their intent, the keynote hardly mentioned the iPhone.
Oddly, the only place on the floor where iPhone software was in abundance was in the Mac Developer Pavilion, where about 75% of the booths where iPhone-specific. They included such intriguing products as Sling for the iPhone, beejive and ModelBaker. From the looks of the Pavilion, Mac developers agree that the greatest potential for software success and innovation right now lies with the iPhone, not the Mac.
Despite Apple's desire for a Mac focus, the Apple booth did have a huge banner proclaiming the over 10,000 (and counting) apps now available for the iPhone. Apparently, even Apple realizes that the App Store has already become one of the Apple's biggest success stories ever.