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Apple’s Stimulus Package?

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2009 WWDC Begins with Price Cut Revelation

When the economy is down, consumers with extra cash know that the down economy can often be a good time to make long-awaited purchase as prices are lowered to attract customers. But companies wanting to boost their business during slow times know it, too. It looks like that’s just what Apple is doing. Of course, getting a Mac will still cost you a pretty penny, but now you can get a little more for what you might have previously shelled out for an even lesser version.

Today in San Francisco, Phil Schiller is beginning the 2009 World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC) by introducing Apple’s “most affordable line ever.” Of netbooks. Ever? If they really mean ever, now might just be the time to buy if you’re going to buy a new Apple notebook.

The MacBook Pro price has been dropped $1699, and their also upping the specs while they’re at it. Like 7 hours of battery time and a new SD slot. As a I’m typing this on my MacBook, I’m pretty sure that the SD slot and 7 hour battery would make me pretty happy right about now. Oh yeah, they’re also throwing in up to 8GB of RAM, though you’ll have to shell out a little more than $1699 for that. In case $1699 is a little too much, Apple’s also added a 13-inch version to the MacBook Pro line, and at $1199, it will be sure to attract some new Pro fans. And the MacBook Air? It will be an affordable $700 less than before, starting at $1499.

But hold onto your wallets, because the WWDC only just started. If this is how it’s starting out, you might be in for some pretty sweet surprises further into the conference.

Mac Chrome Isn’t Close To Being Done; But There’s Progress

As the PC owning world got to enjoy Google Chrome when it released some months ago, Mac users were left out to dry. I’ve used Google Chrome, and while it’s nice, I can tell you that there’s nothing worth getting up in arms about yet.

However, according to Mac Chrome blogger, Mike Pinkerton, Mac Chrome is shaping up nicely. They’ve actually opened multi-tab web pages (YAY!), which apparently is a big deal in the web browser creation process.

Of course, Pinkerton didn’t drop a release date, but did provide some screenshots of the browser’s progress.

Mac Chrome Browser

Mac Chrome Browser Screenshot

Obama’s Team Wants A Mac White House

If you read into this Washington Post article, you’d think the Obama administration was stepping into the pre-historic era.

According to the article, the Obama team is pretty much all Mac users. They were taken back by the technology that met them when entering the White House for the first time. According to the article,

“One member of the White House new-media team came to work on Tuesday, right after the swearing-in ceremony, only to discover that it was impossible to know which programs could be updated, or even which computers could be used for which purposes. The team members, accustomed to working on Macintoshes, found computers outfitted with six-year-old versions of Microsoft software. Laptops were scarce, assigned to only a few people in the West Wing. The team was left struggling to put closed captions on online videos.”

A pretty comical story, but at the same time sad as well. So, how about it, are you ready to see an Apple adorned White House?

App Store Reaches 15,000 App Milestone

Apple is definitely proud of their App Store achievements. On Apple’s home page, is a huge section dedicated to the milestones that the App Store has been able to obtain in its six month life span.

15,000 apps uploaded, 500 million apps downloaded by its users. That is definitely an accomplishment considering it hasn’t been around very long. Barring an unforeseeable fubar, it can only get better from here.

Congrats to Apple:

15,000 Apps

Steve Job’s Leave Of Absence And The Effects

It was announced yesterday, by way of company email that Steve Jobs would be taking a five month leave of absence to deal with health concerns. It’s being reported that Jobs’ second bout with health problems has stemmed from food absorption problems, which doesn’t sound pleasant.

Here’s the company e-mail that Jobs’ sent out about his medical status:

Team,

I am sure all of you saw my letter last week sharing something very personal with the Apple community. Unfortunately, the curiosity over my personal health continues to be a distraction not only for me and my family, but everyone else at Apple as well. In addition, during the past week I have learned that my health-related issues are more complex than I originally thought.

In order to take myself out of the limelight and focus on my health, and to allow everyone at Apple to focus on delivering extraordinary products, I have decided to take a medical leave of absence until the end of June.

I have asked Tim Cook to be responsible for Apple’s day to day operations, and I know he and the rest of the executive management team will do a great job. As CEO, I plan to remain involved in major strategic decisions while I am out. Our board of directors fully supports this plan.

I look forward to seeing all of you this summer.

So, what does this all mean for Apple? First, you can expect to see Apple stock fall by the wayside for a short period of time. Second, we’ll more than likely be seeing Tim Cook the COO of Apple take over Jobs’ responsibilities. The rest is pretty much left to wild speculation.

I personally believe that Jobs will be back sooner than anticipated. The reason being is that Jobs hasn’t said anything about leaving for good, or turning over the reins to someone else. I’m not a medical expert so I can’t tell you how long ‘food absorption’ problems last, but five months sound like a “worst-case” scenario timeline.

What are your thoughts on the Steve Jobs’ medical leave? Is it really just the five months, or perhaps the sign of things to come? With the little information we have on Tim Cook, what are your thoughts about him watching things while Steve is gone?

Steve Jobs Will Not Speak At Macworld 2009

In what many consider to be a blind-sided move from Apple, Steve Jobs has stepped down as keynote speaker of Macworld 2009. In what could be considered even bigger news, is that this will be the last Macworld Expo for Apple.

It’s quite sad to see the last Macworld Expo be without Steve Jobs, the man that made them so great. VP Phil Schiller will take his place, which is a decisions that many have questioned. Due to Schiller’s lack of star quality, and energy.

Many have been trying to find reasons why Apple would drop MacWorld from their agenda. I think that it’s pretty obvious that the economy has had quite a bit to do with it. Trying to cut costs is something that even the large, successful corporations are having to go through. Although, many analysts predict a huge falling out in Wall Street for Apple, due to this decision.

Another aspect of the situation that people are questioning, is the absence of Steve Jobs. Since this will be the very last MacWorld Expo, you’d figured he’d be the man to deliver it. Many attribute this decision to Steve Job’s health. He’s had complications with a previous pancreatic surgery this year.

Here’s the official press release, with all the information straight from Apple:

CUPERTINO, California—December 16, 2008—Apple® today announced that this year is the last year the company will exhibit at Macworld Expo. Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing, will deliver the opening keynote for this year’s Macworld Conference & Expo, and it will be Apple’s last keynote at the show. The keynote address will be held at Moscone West on Tuesday, January 6, 2009 at 9:00 a.m. Macworld will be held at San Francisco’s Moscone Center January 5-9, 2009.

Apple is reaching more people in more ways than ever before, so like many companies, trade shows have become a very minor part of how Apple reaches its customers. The increasing popularity of Apple’s Retail Stores, which more than 3.5 million people visit every week, and the Apple.com website enable Apple to directly reach more than a hundred million customers around the world in innovative new ways.

Apple has been steadily scaling back on trade shows in recent years, including NAB, Macworld New York, Macworld Tokyo and Apple Expo in Paris.

Apple ignited the personal computer revolution in the 1970s with the Apple II and reinvented the personal computer in the 1980s with the Macintosh. Today, Apple continues to lead the industry in innovation with its award-winning computers, OS X operating system and iLife and professional applications. Apple is also spearheading the digital media revolution with its iPod portable music and video players and iTunes online store, and has entered the mobile phone market with its revolutionary iPhone.