Steve Jobs opened up Apple's Worldwide Developer's Conference with one of his trademark keynote speeches today. He discussed the new Airport Express and talked about the new "iPod Your BMW" promotion that allows you to add an iPod to a BMW and control it through the steering wheel controls. Jobs also addressed the recent PowerMac updates, blaming the delay on 3.0 GHz machines on IBM's manufacturing difficulties with the new 90nm process. He explained that all of the chip manufacturers are having problems with this process and said IBM is getting the kinks worked out.
As for new hardware, this refresh seems to be skimpy. Apple is announcing new monitors enclosed in aluminum cases to match the PowerMacs. They have ditched the ADB cable and have movedfinally!to DVI. The cable will include DVI, Firewire, and USB and split off at the ends. The monitors themselves have Firewire and USB 2.0 hubs built in. It's not clear if the Firewire hub is Firewire 800 or 400.
Apple will now have monitor models at 20" and 23", plus a new 30" model. The 30" monitor will sell for $3299, while the 20" monitor will sell for $1299 and the 23" for $1999. Considering that Dell sells a similar 20" monitor with a 4:3 aspect ratio for $999 (or less if there is a sale on), the price seems high by at least $200. Firewire and USB hubs do add value, but if one doesn't need those features or the 16:9 aspect ratio, the price is a bit high.
The 30" monitor requires multiple DVI inputs to move pixels since no one DVI output on current cards can push out the 4.1 million pixels in its native resolution of 2560x1600. Apple has a new NVIDIA card that it will be selling for $599.
Jobs also discussed the coming OS 10.4 release, code-named Tiger. Among its new features:
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