Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The annual Apple hysteria by Jobs: Any point getting excited in our region?

It's now become the annual opportunity for hysteria among technology geeks and quite a few consumer gadget enthusiasts too.

The annual Steve Jobs address at the Macworld conference creates such a buzz on the web and through the media that it sometimes doesn't live up to its own billing, like this year, I'm afraid.

Last year it was the iPhone which, obviously, turned out to be worth the hysteria with its unique user interface and slick design. Having sold over 2 million units no one can say it didn't succeed!

This year on January 15, we had the somewhat 'lower key' thin MacBook 'Air', which even good old Steve tried to muster a smile about upon announcing. The bigger news, with long term ramifications for the movie industry, and the traditional video store too, was the announcement that Apple would be offering movies for download (obviously for a fee) at iTunes. The announcement was big because Apple revealed that it had every major movie studio on board.

Such is the pulling power of the Apple brand and Steve Job's personality, who by the way is the biological son of a Syrian immigrant to America but who was adopted by the Jobs family. I don't really know the relevance of this to anything, expect for the fact that it gives any brilliant Arab hope, provided he/she is surrounded by a conducive environment like San Jose's Silicon Valley, where Steve has lived all his life!

Anyway, back to the impact of the newly announced products on our region of the world, it goes without saying that a hardware product, like an ultra thin Macbook, would arrive in the region, clock up sales and probably add to the surprisingly growing Macintosh user base in a region where we all thought the Mac was dying!

As for iTunes, unfortunately, we still can't enjoy its services as we are still considered a 'back-water' market for Apple, and I can't understand why it's taking them so long to open an iTunes store for a country in the Middle East. Some 'experts' tell me it's due to 'payment gateway' issues and the fact that Apple has to come in and look at every market.

Apparently, iTunes is still not available in every European or Asian market either, so maybe that's a consolation.

In the meantime, regrettably, everyone's pirating music and video through Peer-To-Peer (P2P) networks, but that's another story.

So, how has Jobs touched our lives- excuse the pun with the iPod Touch?

In several ways actually, not least contributing to the creation of the personal computer revolution 30 years ago in his parent's garage, but also by launching products which can make any person, anywhere in the world excited.

I've got an iPod and iTV, many of my friends have MacBooks, I actually know a couple of people using 'hacked' iPhones- another example of us still being a 'back water' to Apple, but the enthusiasm is there and Apple has had a regional office in Dubai and an dealership in Jordan for nearly two decades.

We expect more attention from Apple, we deserve more and we'll throw in the Syrian-origin card if we have to!

Mr Jobs, are you listening?

Published in The Star newspaper


At 12:03 AM , Anonymous Qwaider قويدر said...

Zeid, it's 4million in 200 days. Not 200Million units. It's less than Palm OS which isn't even doing that well anyway.
iPhone targeted a market that is dominated by the geeks with a product that appeals to non-geeks. It swooped everyone and people actually started buying the "smart phone" and using more phone than anything else.
Everything iPhone can do was there in the smart Nokias years ago, in the windows smartphones at least 3 years before the iPhone but were apparently targeted for gadget freaks. Not iPhone, it was targeted for the masses!

Anyway, 4mil in 200 days is a good start.

In our part of the world, it's a fashion and status statement. Nothing more...

At 7:51 PM , Blogger Zeid Nasser said...

Oops, I actually meant 2 million!

And here's the trail I followed:

Apple announces sale of its 1 Millionth iPhone on 1 September

Apple Announces total sales of 1.4 million iPhones on 30 october

researchers project that it will have sold 3 Million iPhones by end of 2007

And finally, this week, CNN Business Report which I watched on TV claimed that Apple had 'definitely sold in excess of 2 million iPhones' by end of year.

At 9:30 PM , Anonymous Qwaider قويدر said...

I was referring to the Jobbs Keynote, where he claims 4 Million phones sold. Which is impressive. But not unheard of.


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