The Wednesday Apple event entitled “Back to the Mac” was a success with CEO Steve Jobs showing off the latest, thinnest, and lightest MacBook Air. Dressed in his usual black shirt and jeans, the 55 year old Jobs told audience that the newest MacBook is a fusion of the company’s hand held products — iPhone and iPad– and Mac technology.
“We asked ourselves what would happen if a MacBook and an iPad hooked up? Well, this is the result,” Jobs said at a media event in Cupertino, California,.
Borrowing several things from Apple’s iPad, the new MacBook Air will also use Apps Store, the digital marketplace for Apple’s iPhone and iPad to install softwares and applications, making DVDs obsolete. FaceTime, video chat program launched recently for iPhone and iPod Touch, is also integrated in the newest MacBook Air.
Similar to iPad, the latest MacBook Air uses flash memory. Jobs defended the company’s decision as pragmatic. Flash storage is a more efficient technology. Flash memory enables the new MacBook Air achieve a longer battery life when surfing the Web (5-7 hours) and on standby time (30 days). This technology also allows MacBook Air computers to power up almost instantly and increase data storage speed — twice as fast as a standard hard drive.
“We really see these as the next generation of MacBooks,” Jobs said onstage. “We think all notebooks will be like these someday,” he added.
These wedge shaped aluminum gizmos will be premiering around the nation on Wednesday. The smaller size ( 11.6 inch, 2.3 pounds (1kg)) costs $999 while the 13″ inch display, 2.9 pounds) costs $1299.
Just measuring over two-thirds of an inch at the widest edge, they are really light and thin.
“They’re basically merging the product lines; they’re simplifying it. They’re taking the strengths out of what they’ve learned on the iPhone and iPad and bringing that technology over to the Mac side. It makes a lot of sense,” said Shaw Wu, an analyst for Kaufman Bros.
Jobs also unveiled a new version of Mac operating software, which is due to release next summer. Nicknamed “Lion,” it has an improved “iLife” multimedia suite and incorporates video chat ability launched on the iPhone.
The mobile-focused iOS software was also center of the Wednesday event. “We’d like to bring them back to the Mac. We’ve invented some new things, and we’ve perfected them over the last several years,” Jobs said of the newest Lion operating system, a newer and improved operating software modeled after the iOS software.
Due to the external appearance of these new computers, some cannot help but compare them to netbooks. The looming question about the demise of netbook manufactures is inevitable. “Netbooks are getting squeezed on all sides, including pressure from tablets,” said Gartner analyst Van Baker. “The netbook market grew very fast, and now they’re shrinking very fast,” he added.
According to chief operating officer Tim Cook the Mac computers made up a third of Apple’s revenue last year. The Mac products are critical to Apple’s sales revenue. The company sold $22 billion worth of Macs in fiscal 2010.