iApps for sale

By Matthew Rothenberg  |  Posted 2003-01-05 Print this article Print

iApps for sale
Consider the companys expected revisions to its constellation of consumer-friendly, Mac OS X-native iApps, which Apple has generally been giving away in the interest of luring more customers to new Mac OS X-compliant hardware. Last week, the company began priming the pump for the next software wave with the final release of iSync 1.0, its software for synchronizing Macs with a variety of other devices.
In addition, Apple is reportedly about to release new versions of its iDVD, iMovie and iPhoto applications—with a twist: The company will charge about $50 for a bundle of all three. (I have heard rumblings that light versions will remain gratis, at least for the time being.)
While charging for something theyd given away free proved the undoing of many a dot-com, Apple seems to be made of sterner stuff. Witness last summers announcement that Apples iTools suite of free Web services would morph into the for-pay .Mac: While the move raised the ire of many users who believed (not without reason) that Apple had promised them such niceties as free e-mail in perpetuity, the migration apparently attracted enough pilgrims to turn a onetime loss leader into a nice little revenue stream. And if the company continues to bundle iDVD, iMovie and iPhoto free with new Macs, it adds another incentive for customers to get with Apple marketings program of new hardware purchases every couple of years. Speaking of Apples online efforts, Im at least half-convinced the company will also use this weeks show to take its long-awaited plunge into the realm of Web browsers with a new package based on Chimera. (Whether the world truly needs another Web browser is a question Ill leave open until that happy moment arrives.) Heres where I strain my collar, at least by a button or two: Apple probably has something bigger in mind for Macworld Expo, and I think its entirely likely that it will come in a small package thats driven by a pen. Time for Apples tablet?
My sources sketch the following picture: A device that superficially resembles a large iPod with an 8-inch diagonal screen, lacks a keyboard, packs USB and FireWire ports, and runs Mac OS X along with a variety of multimedia goodies. Im going to hazard a guess that this specimen also features wireless connectivity. Ive opined before that Apple is preparing to apply its InkWell handwriting-recognition technologies and its lengthy experience with portable design to a new product that puts a distinctive spin on the pen-driven paradigm currently being touted by Microsoft and its Tablet PC partners. A compelling, stylish device that puts Mac OS X in a new form factor, plays to Apples multimedia strengths, and borrows momentum from the iPods success would fit the bill nicely—and point the companys Mac OS X pitch in a dramatic new direction. Mac veteran Matthew Rothenberg is online editor for Ziff Davis Medias Baseline and CIO Insight magazines.

Online News Editor
Matthew has been associated with Ziff Davis' news efforts for more than a decade, including an eight-year run with the print and online versions of MacWEEK. He also helped run the news and opinion operations at ZDNet and CNet. Matthew holds a B.A. from the University of California, San Diego.


Submit a Comment

Loading Comments...
Manage your Newsletters: Login   Register My Newsletters

Rocket Fuel