Expo reaction: iDisappointed

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First, let me say this. The iPhone looks incredible. It’s a definite paradigm shift in the world of phones, PDAs, and iPods. I want one, even if I never use the phone portion of the device. Same with Apple TV—I’ve actually ordered one for our home, as it will meet our needs perfectly. My gut reaction is that Apple has hit a huge home run with the iPhone.

Beyond that, though, I was terribly disappointed by this year’s keynote. We had a two-hour presentation that basically covered two devices (and of those, the Apple TV had maybe 15 minutes of attention). So what didn’t we hear about?

New Mac hardware: None. I mean, it’s called Mac world Expo, right? So no mention at all of any new Mac boxes? The mini remains in its aging state? No new ultra-laptop or tablet Mac ? Apple gave me no reason at all to plead with the spouse to spend some money!

New displays: The iSight has been discontinued. Months ago. That helped fuel speculation about new Apple monitors with built-in iSight cameras. But no. No new displays. So if you want a new monitor and iSight today, good luck—you’ll have to find an iSight in the dwindling retail stock, and hope that Apple doesn’t turn around tomorrow and introduce new iSight-integrated monitors.

New other hardware: There was a brand-new Airport Extreme introduced today. It has a new form factor, like the Apple TV, and yet it didn't even merit a 10-second mention in the keynote? Strange.

A Leopard update: The vaunted missing features? Still missing. Ship date? Still unspecified as “Spring 2007.” Progress toward ship date? Unknown. Come on, Steve, couldn’t you have dropped at least a sentence or two on Leopard?

iLife ’07: Not a peep. It seems the next version will probably be released with (and maybe rely on features in) Leopard.

iWork ’07: Steve’s keynote featured some nifty new Keynote effects which are clearly not in my copy of iWork ’06. Hence, iWork ’07 exists. But again, no mention of it. The missing spreadsheet is still missing. Is it, too, dependent on Leopard features? And if so, does that mean Steve's keynote was done on a machine running Leopard?

Beatles on iTunes: Steve’s slides were loaded with Beatles references. Album covers, Beatles songs playing, etc. They were everywhere. Too plentiful to miss. And yet, no announcement was made about the Beatles collection being available on the iTunes store—was there some sort of last-minute legal hold-up?

So while I’m thrilled, stunned, blown away, and simply amazed by the iPhone (and the Apple TV, to a lesser extent), I can’t help feeling disappointed about the keynote in general. I was really hoping for some impressive new Macs to look at, and new versions of the applications suites we’ve all come to rely on. It seems we’ll now have to wait for the inevitable Special Event for the release of Leopard, iLife, and iWork… and maybe my highly-desired ultra-portable Mac!

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