Apple unveils new MacBook Air laptops, iLife '11 software suite
Saturday, October 23, 2010
In a Wednesday media event, Apple Inc. released a new lineup of laptops and the 2011 version of the company's software suite. The "Back to the Mac" event also included a preview of Apple's forthcoming operating system, to be released in mid-2011.
Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveiled the new products at the , California event, saying the company has "been inspired by the work [it has] done on the iPad, and [it wants] to bring it back to the Mac." Apple has plans to import more features of its mobile operating system to the operating system.
Jobs announced today that the "Lion" release to OS X, which is scheduled for release next summer, will include more support forand a desktop version of the company's . He said that the App Store will be available for Apple's current OS "Snow Leopard" within 90 days, and that applications can be submitted starting next month. Jobs also announced that a beta version of , Apple's IOS video calling application, would be available for OS X users immediately. Several new applications will be added in OS X Lion, dubbed "Mission Control" and "Launchpad."
In his keynote address Wednesday, Jobs announced the release of Apple's iLife '11 software suite, which includes the, , and programs. iPhoto has new slide show templates, while iMovie has added audio editing capabilities. GarageBand now includes several new piano- and guitar-playing lessons. iLife '11 was released on Wednesday as a 49 upgrade, and is also available free with new Mac purchases.
In another move to bring iOS functionality to Macintosh computers, Jobs announced an updated MacBook Air series of laptops, on sale now. The new MacBook Air usesrather than a traditional hard drive, and has no CD/DVD drive, an approach seen on the tablet computer. In addition, the laptop's battery life has been extended, even though it is only 0.68 in (1.73 cm) thick and weighs less than 3 lbs (1.36 kg). "We think it’s the future of notebooks," said Jobs. There are now two models of the MacBook Air: an 11.6-inch (29.46-cm) version and a 13.3-inch (33.78-cm) model. Analyst Shawn Wu says the company "priced it really aggressively," referring to the computer's base price of US$999.
Jobs said that his company sold 13.7 million Macs last year, totaling US$22 billion. In the last financial quarter, Mac sales increased 22 percent, comprising 24 percent of total revenue for Apple. However, the original MacBook Air did not fare so well. Sales and hype over the first Air decreased soon after its introduction, and the line was overshadowed by the release of Apple's 13-inch (33.02-cm). The MacBook Air had not been significantly updated since 2008.
- Jefferson Graham. "New Apple MacBook Air costs less, plus App Store is coming" — , October 20, 2010
- Adam Satariano and Peter Burrows. "Apple Unveils New MacBook Air, Lion Operating System" — , October 20, 2010
- Ina Fried. "Apple unveils new MacBook Airs, previews Lion" — , October 20, 2010
- Antone Gonsalves. "Apple's 'Back To The Mac' Announcement Speculation Rife" — , October 13, 2010