January 15th was the big day at MacWorld Expo 2008 and as always I made my annual pilgrimage. Apple is doing well these days and as a result the number of vendors attending the expo seemed to be at an all time high. I can’t recall a MacWorld that was as large and well attended as this one. On the other side I thought this was one of the poorest run MacWorld events. Pre-registration hardly yielded much benefit. Many registration stations didn’t have scanners and getting badges was a pain as long lines developed. One other downside to the event was that there was poor wireless support. Normally that wouldn’t be a big deal, but core to Apple’s product strategy is Wi-Fi support. iPhones were rendered useless for coordinating with friends or just emailing photos as connectivity was lacking. Not only that AT&T seemed to be having some major problems. SMS messages were delayed in reaching recipients by as much as 30 minutes! It’s tough to bash Apple, but I’d have thought the event would have been run a little tighter.
On the product side the MacBook Air was pretty neat, but priced a little high for my blood especially given the paring down of functionality. I will say this though it was super fast, quiet (from what I could tell) and extremely sexy. The Apple TV upgrades were interesting. I won’t be running out to buy one right away, but who knows what the future holds… at the moment my wife is downloading HD Lost episodes to watch on her PC so maybe their will be interest to get one eventually. The integration of Flickr into Apple TV piqued my interest. I’m curious how it works and if it runs into the same photo license issue I raised the red flag about with Dave Winer’s FlickrFan (FlickrFan: A Heads-Up For License Conscious Flickr Photographers). The 8 Core workstation could hardly be found. I think they had maybe 6 or 8 machines available to mess with and they were tucked away in a low traffic area. New iPod touch functionality… hardly worth mentioning. Apple’s turn over with new iPods and now software additions hardly grabs my attention. I have a feeling iPods with their frequent upgrades have dulled the enthusiasm of most Apple fans.
MacWorld Expo was still fun and I did eventually cross paths with one friend, communication problems and all. If you haven’t been yet I’d still go. Moscone West had some interesting vendors many photographer related. Moscone South not only had the major Apple display, but also included Adobe, Canon, Nikon and Epson. If you’d like to get your hands on some newer camera gear to see whats new or ask questions about the gear MacWorld is always a great place to do so. I got a few test shots in (putting in my own CF card) with the Canon 1Ds Mark III and the 16-35mm Mark II. Before I forget the other big vendor that was in Moscone South was B&H and they had some special pricing lined up for select products. That might be worth checking out, but don’t blame me if you end up spending lots of money with them.
MacWorld Expo MacBook Air Front View
MacWorld Expo MacBook Air Profile and Port Compartment (Closed)
MacWorld Expo MacBook Air Profile and Port Compartment (Open)
Apple MacBook Air, How Thin Is It?
Apple MacBook Air Track Pad Demo
MacWorld Expo MacBook Air Profile
MacWorld Expo MacBook Air Display & Demo Table
This was one of the cooler products I saw that wasn’t straight from Apple. This tablet laptop looks like something a lot of rumors had been swirling around about.
Steve Jobs checking his iPhone in the Apple booth area of the exhibit hall
More Steve Jobs and his iPhone, but wait bonus! Robert Scoble in the background.
MacWorld Expo… it was a blur.
[tags]MacWorld, recap, photos, photography, MacBook, MacBook Air, Air, Apple TV, Moscone, Canon, 1Ds Mark III, Apple, AT&T[/tags]