Jobs Unveils New Macbook Pro

Jobs Looks Healthy, Shows Off New Design, Features

Apple this morning is conducting one of its more and more frequent product announcements - the kind that attract media from all over the world.
This morning's is expected to be smaller - announcements, we expect, of new low cost laptops. 

Laptops have become a more and more important channel for this company (which ironically dropped the word "computer" from its name recently) as the iPod starts to both come down in price/profit and reaches market saturation.

9:30 a.m.

Good morning from Apple, where we will be live blogging this announcement about (what we expect to be) new low cost laptops starting in about 15 minutes.

9:48 a.m.

Doors open.  Lots of reporters.  One wearing a "Obama" button.  Wasn't that rule #1 in journalism school?

10:04 a.m.

None of the hooting and hollering you get at these normally.    This is more of a "big boy" announcement.
Cook attributes much of Mac's growth to Microsoft's Vista.  Probably true.

10:09 a.m.

As is usually the case, they're starting out with a business briefling.  Macs account for nearly 18% of all computer sales now.  Half of all people who buy a Mac are doing so for the first time (are coming from Windows).

10:13 a.m.

Jobs back on stage to talk about the company's new way of building notebooks.  Hands meeting back over to someone else, something he's done more and more lately.  Jony Ive, VP of design.
Ive discusses structure and strength in laptop chassis.   Fanboys would be disappointed, business reporters are taking notes.

10:20 a.m.

Discussion of moving to a "unibody" model, where the notebook is made from one large piece of metal as opposed to many small parts.  Gives strength.
Jobs returns to stage, discusses stronger graphics chips from nVidia.  5 times faster than (their current partner) Intel's integrated graphics chip.
Jobs discusses games, which is very rare for him.

10:23 a.m.

Jobs not saying BAD things about Intel, but says he's very pleased with nVidia chips for notebooks.
New trackpad for notebooks, made of glass, very big.  39% larger.  Only Apple would talk about how smooth a trackpad is.  The whole trackpad is the button, just press it.  (remember, Apple uses just one mouse button).

10:26 a.m.

New Macbook Pro.
Slightly thinner, Jobs calls it "gorgeous'.  
Says its built environmentally friendly.
Jobs talks about how pretty the inside of the computer is, something no user will ever see.
Literally passes around the guts of a computer around like an elementary school.

10:32 a.m.

People pass around the guts of a computer like the collection plate in church.
One guy takes a picture of it - he must be only on the Apple beat.  Jobs encourages people to hurry up and pass it already.
"We want those back".
The new laptop will have TWO graphics chips, and you will be able to switch between them like changing gears.
Mini display port is new - a new video out for laptops.

10:35 a.m.

New Macbook Pro will have solid state drive (not a spinning hard drive).  You will be able to remove it and replace it.
$1999 for the 15 inch screen laptop. 
$2499 (no, really) for the same size screen but faster and better version.
Ship today.. should be in stores tomorrow.

10:37 a.m.

Macbook Air gets updated with the new nVidia chip.  Gives Macbook air 4x faster graphics.
Bigger hard drive or optional solid state drive.

10:40 a.m.
New 24" display with LED backlight (a monitor for your computer).
(more, one should note, than most PC's cost)  That's just a screen.
Jobs pokes fun at himself by saying "one more thing" and begins talking about the standard Macbook.
Currently $1099, knocks $100 off.
Macbook becomes metal instead of plastic, adds faster graphics and a better display.
When we heard rumors of a new lower cost Mac, I'm not sure we were expecting a price cut of just $100.

10:44 a.m.

Correction, the old plastic macbook will be $100 cheaper.
The new metal macbooks will be $1299 to $1599.  Our economy is apparently doing better than I thought.

Shipping today.

10:52 a.m.

Jobs is saying that the new Macbook will have many of the same features as the Macbook Pro (metal body, etc) and thus represents a "$700 savings" in that you would have to pay $700 more for the Pro, and now you can get it in the cheaper version.
Like "saving money" by getting featurs in your new Chevy that was til now available in Cadillacs only.

Truly a cheaper laptop?  Not really, especially when you compare it to the latest Fry's ads for PC Windows laptops, which can be as little as $300.

10:55 a.m.

Steve has a rare press conference after the announcement.
Announces his blood pressure, but will not answer further questions about his health.

11:01 a.m.

Still a bit fuzzy.. Apple says we are "lowering the price by $700" but my impression is there's a bit of apple and oranges there.  No pun intended.

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