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Michael Gracie

Apple new product summary in fifteen heartbeats

Not particularly favorable.

The world is getting a sexy little laptop with wireless-only connectivity and an irreplaceable battery – the MacBook Air. They are also getting a 1TB drive that works over the radio – the Time Capsule.

This time next year, a bunch of MacBook Air owners will have laptops that lose their charge in twenty minutes, and they’ll have to pay $120 or so to get them fixed. They’ll be looking silly at their next coffee-shop meeting too, when the colleague says “oh I’ve got that file on CD.” Or worse…”I’ve got that file on my portable Firewire drive” (there’s no Firewire on the device either). This convenience have cost them roughly two grand to start.

Meanwhile, a whole bunch of other folks will have nifty storage units sitting on their shelves. They’ll download a 1.4GB movie from iTunes, which takes this user roughly a half-hour, and then they get to stir for another fifteen minutes when they decide to store it for future use. Big drives mean lots of (and big) files – transfer over the airwaves is a pain in the ass, 802.11n or not. I’m shopping for a new backup drive now, and won’t even consider one without (at least) Firewire 400.

It’s a lot of kit that seems destined to waste time as well as money. There’s an economic slowdown in the midst, and by the time people have money to burn there will already be something better out. Technology advances quickly, and I think Apple’s timing is off. Steve Jobs spoke, then Twitter went down? Give me a break – nobody cares.

But how about Apple’s stock price? Down 15 points in the past two days.

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