Jan 09

This morning during his keynote speech at Macworld San Francisco 2007, Steve announced two new products:

The Apple TV (formerly known as the “iTV”) is a streaming media server (based around an x86 processor) that connects to your television. Featuring HDMI and component video outputs as well as USB2, 10/100 Ethernet, and 802.11b/g/n wireless connectivity, the Apple TV can stream audio or video content from a Macintosh system or directly from the Internet to your television and display it in 720p high definition. It uses the normal Apple Remote and features a 40G internal hard drive that allows syncing of media from iTunes. Available in February, the Apple TV is priced at $299.

The iPhone is a combination wide-screen iPod, mobile phone, and internet communications device, all in one product. The user interface consists of a full touchscreen that uses a “multi-touch” interface that is controlled with finger presses and movements. The iPhone has a 3.5″ 160-pixel-per-inch full color display, runs OS X as its operating system, and has GPRS+EDGE, WiFi, and Bluetooth connectivity. For software applications, Safari is available (with full functionality of things like Google Maps) as well as software “widgets” for things like weather and stock quotes. Developer information is not available yet. Not detailed in the keynote was a two-megapixel camera. The iPhone is expected to be on sale through Cingular (as an exclusive partner in the US) in June 2007 and should retail for $499 for the 4G version and $599 for the 8G.

Not announced at the keynote (but here’s the press release) is the new Airport Extreme, now in the Mac Mini/AppleTV form factor (a flat square) and featuring 802.11n speeds (for use with the Apple TV). Buried under Apple’s 802.11n information page is a note that recent Intel-based Macintosh systems support 802.11n after a software enabler is loaded:

* iMac with Intel Core 2 Duo (except 17-inch, 1.83GHz iMac)
* MacBook with Intel Core 2 Duo
* MacBook Pro with Intel Core 2 Duo
* Mac Pro with AirPort Extreme card option

It looks like owners of first-gen Intel Mac systems (like me, with a Core Duo iMac and MacBook) are out of luck for the higher speeds unless Apple releases an upgraded Airport+Bluetooth module for these machines.

Last but not least, “Apple Computer, Inc.” is no more – the company is renaming itself to “Apple, Inc.” now that they’ve branched out into non-computer products such as media center systems and mobile phones.

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