WWDC08 Keynote – iPhone 3G

> “The best part of WWDC is the post game analysis. And booze.”Michael Lopp

(I’m breaking up my thoughts about the WWDC keynote into multiple posts this year.)

In the post keynote fracas, I was asked by multiple friends if I was upgrading. My answer shocked each and every one – a fairly blasé “no”. One friend shouted over IM that I would soon cave. (I’m taking the reaction as a sad commentary on how I am perceived.)
This isn’t to say the iPhone 3G isn’t a good model; it corrects most of the gripes leveled at the original iPhone. Data speeds are faster, batteries last longer, and it has a true GPS module. The headphone jack is flush, eliminating a market of headphone extenders. The cost of the handset is far cheaper. Hell, it even comes in an additional color. Certainly, if you’re in the market for an iPhone, it’s a great model to start with – just not to upgrade to.

A $200 mobile upgrade is not the most expensive thing in the world – we are talking about a handset that started at $499 – but it’s not a drop in the bucket. That $200 gets you a double data rate, but along with that you’re stuck with an additional $10 a month on your bill. This adds up quickly over the life of your new two year contract extension. The true GPS is nice, but I’ve found the fake GPS to be working fairly well. The extended battery life is not a feature point I can wave away, but collectively, that’s the end of the feature list. All the benefits of the 2.0 software – the app store, app installation, push email support – will be on the first generation handsets as well.

Is all of that worth $200? For once, I can’t say yes. Never mind the newly discovered activation hassles. Never mind what will undoubtedly be new hurdles towards jailbreaking and unlocking (for those into those sorts of things).

The simple conclusion: if you don’t have an iPhone, it’s a fantastic phone to start with. It’s going to be the perfect time to jump in. But if you do have an iPhone, you may want to ponder whether the total cost is worth the fairly small bullet list of features.



Keynote Coverage

Musical selections: Some hip-hop track, Vertigo by U2, Technologic by Daft Punk, Speed of Sound by Coldplay, the track from the old Macworld iPod ads.

Video coverage of the attendees shows someone with a Windows tablet (slight booing), someone holding up a laptop that says “JIMMY!” on the screen (cheering), someone holding up an iSight to record (laughter), jugglers (what the hell?), Woz (applause).
10:01 and the “program about to begin” sign shows up. 10:03, copyright notice with “Product specifications are subject to change without notice.”

Steve is out, NO JEANS! “Today’s an important day.”

Conference stats:

– 3,800+ attendees, largest in the last decade
– 45 countries, including China and India
– 110 lab sessions, 39 hands-on sessions
– 95 presentation sessions
– 500+ Apple engineers on-site
– 400+ Design Award entries
– 500,000 ADC members

Retail update:

– 109 stores around the world
– 1 million visitors per week
– $500M in third party products in the last year
– Shows the London store, says it’s “phenominal”
– Video shown at a real estate convention made by the retail team. (Music: Rubberneckin’ Oakenfold Remix.)
– $2 billion in sales by the fourth year
– Average earnings of $4000 per square foot

iPod/iTMS update:

– Know you’ve entered popular culture when you’re on the cover of the New Yorker.
– 16 million iPods sold at the end of last quarter total.
– 76% of the entire MP3 market (including flash and hd-based).
– 430 million songs sold on iTMS to date.
– iTMS owns 82% of the marketshare for online music sales in May 2005.
– Podcasting coming in iTunes 4.9
– Steve elaborates on the “Wayne’s World for radio”; he meant you can do it without a lot of capital.
– Calls it the “hottest thing in radio”.
– Gives a list of the major companies that have jumped on Podcasting.
– You *can* type URLs into iTunes 4.9
– New Podcast item in the source list.
– Quick and easy way to grab new podcasts.
– Apple is going to be doing podcasts of new music weekly. As you scrub through the podcast, the artwork changes – big applause. Shows chapter functionality too.
– Expects this to take podcasting mainstream.

Mac general update:

– Growth rates, year-over-year: PC growth rate has gone from 18% to 13%, Mac growth rate has gone from 8% to 42%.
– Today: QT7 Windows Preview release.
– Over a billion QT downloads over its lifetime.
– Tiger is the “best release we’ve ever shipped”.
– This week, Apple will deliver the 2 millionth copy of Tiger (includes retail/maintenance/new Macs).
– Dashboard widget demo
– Uses Business Week widget to look up top stories about Apple to laughter.
– Gets another Longhorn dig in with the countdown widget.
– Tiger represents 16% of OS X user base. Panther is 49%, Jaguar is 25%, 10.0/1 are 10%. Expects Tiger to be 50% for this time next year.
– Next release of OS X will be Leopard. No focus at the conference today. Intend to release it at the end of 2006/early 2007, right around the Longhorn release.


– There is a TON of muttering under breaths.
– Mac in its history has had two major transitions.
– 680×0 to Power PPC
– Classic to OS X, set up for the next 20 years
– Time for the third transition
– It’s true (small intel style e)!
– PowerPC to Intel processors starts now for developers and for customers in 2006-2007.
– “Why are we doing this?” We want to be making the best computer for our customers looking forward.
– Brings up the G5 laptop and the 3.0 GHz Tower, but these aren’t the most important reasons.
– Looking ahead, while we have great products right now, we have ideas of future products and we can’t make them with PPC
– Power consumption is a big key to this motivation (gives an integer comparison chart).
– Next year, at this time, Macs shipping with Intel processors
– In 2007, at this time, transition will be mostly complete, totally done by the end of 2007.
– Two major challenges in this transition.
– First: Making OS X “sing” on Intel
– OS X has been leading a secret double life for the last 5 years.
– #1 rule: Designs for OS X must be processor independent
– #2 rule: Every project must run on Intel and PowerPC
– EVERY release of OS X for the last 5 years has been compiled for Intel and PowerPC, confirming rumors.
– Demo system he’s been using has been runing on this morning is Intel (Pentium 4, 3.6 GHz)
– It’s singing, it’s really indistinguishable from G5 chips.
– Very far along, but not done, going to put this in developer hands.
– Second: Your apps
– Four types of apps
– Widgets/scripts/Java – just work
– Cocoa apps: “Small tweak (few days) and recompile”
– Carbon / Xcode – “Tweak (few weeks) and recompile”
– Carbon / Metrowerks – “Switch to Xcode, tweak (few weeks), recompile.”
– Top 100 developers, over half are using Xcode, 25% are in the process of switching.
– This is “nothing” like Carbonization.
– Trots out Mathematica who he called last Wednesday to port over to Intel.
– Theo Grey out to talk about the process.
– Took two hours to get running on Intel.
– “Twenty lines of source code from a dead cold start”.
– “YMMV”
– Xcode 2.1 out today
– When you build, check a box for Intel or PowerPC.
– Universal Binary, runs on both PPC and Intel.
– Both processors supported for a “very long time”.
– Not every app is going to be universal on Day 1.
– Technology called Rosetta.
– Translates PowerPC to Intel
– Runs existing apps
– Dynamic binary translator
– Transparent to users, nothing like Classic
– Lightweight, no big memory footprint
– “Fast (enough)”
– Demo: Word opens fine. Excel opens fine. Quicken runs fine. Photoshop works fine, although it’s a little slow on load – fine on file open after it’s loaded. Photoshop plugins work fine.
– Developer Transition Kit
– 3.6 GHz Pentium 4
– OS X for Intel 10.4.1
– Xcode 2.1
– Universal Binary Porting Guide
– Development platform only, NOT A PRODUCT
– Have to return by end of 2006
– Select and Premier ADC members only
– ***$999***
– Shipping in two weeks
– From Microsoft: Roz Ho, General Manager of MBU
– Not a great speaker.
– Final touches on updates for Exchange users
– Releasing a new version of MSN Messanger in the next few months
– Team has been working closely with Apple on the Intel thing
– Planning on releasing universal binaries
– No actual solid announcement, just “looking forward to working together into the future”.
– From Adobe: Bruce Chizen, CEO
– “Absolutely committed to putting apps running natively on new Intel boxes.”
– “We will be the first with this transition, as we were for OS X.”
– “Found something pretty amazing: They’re kind of like us.”
– Paul Otellini, President and CEO of Intel
– “We are so excited at Intel to have been given the opportunity to work with Apple to bring you really great products.”
– The story:
– Intel founded in 1968 in Mountain View.
– 1976, Apple founded 5 miles away.
– Bob and Andy Grove were early investors in Apple.
– 1976, Apple went with MOS, IBM went with Intel.
– 1993, Apple goes with PPC, Intel launches Pentium.
– 1996, Apple sets fire to Intel’s bunny man.
– Shows commerical just for kicks, much cheering.
– 2005, “The most innovative computer company and the world’s most innovative chip company finally team up.” Big applause.

Where does this leave us?

– Apple is strong.
– Mac is strong.
– Great time to start building for the future.
– We know transitions.
– We’re getting ready.
– Time for you to get ready, too.
– 90+ of the sessions include content about Universal versions.
– 100+ dev transition systems in 7 labs this week.
– “Soul of the Mac is it’s operating system, and we’re not standing still.”


WWDC Keynote Running Thoughts

I started transcribing late, since the Apple Store/iPod wanking is fairly standard.