Blog Post

What About iWork and iLife ’09 Tomorrow?

OK, I’m just going to throw this out there: I understand all the talk regarding Apple’s event tomorrow is about hardware (rightfully so, Apple has said the spotlight is on notebooks), but there’s a lot more to Apple’s value equation than just high-quality hardware.

Think back to when Apple introduced the aluminum iMac models in August 2007; they held a special event then, too. The Mac world by that time “knew” the focus was going to be on re-designed iMacs, and it seemed pretty conclusive that they would be aluminum. That’s exactly what they ended up being, and they were so compelling that I bought the 24″ Extreme model for myself. 

But at the time of that event the Mac world had also been waiting for refreshed iLife and iWork suites for quite some time. Apple had been in the habit of updating them at Macworld in January, but did not do so in 2007. Rumors predicted they would do so in February, then in Spring, then for back-to-school in early Summer, but none of these were true.

When all was said and done, Apple left everyone hanging for eight months after Macworld. The extended wait was worth it, in my opinion, as iLife ’08 was a significant update. Apple added a much-anticipated (and necessary) spreadsheet application to the iWork suite which, along with the changes made to Pages, made it so compelling I purchased that suite as well. 

So the question now is this: Will the event on 10/14 only be about hardware? I believe the iMac/iLife announcement in tandem helped make those iMacs an even better deal. Since Apple’s new laptop line is rumored to be about even more value, starting at under $1000, what a great time to introduce improved software suites as well. 

Apple’s software renaissance is a major part of why Mac sales have taken off over the years. That point cannot be overstated and needs to continually be driven home. I don’t see Apple forgetting that fact. The question is if they’ll make us wait until January’s Macworld (I don’t believe it’ll be any later), or do it now to position the new laptop line as a truly killer value proposition. I’m all for the latter, and the time is right (it’s been over a year since the last update), but haven’t seen any discussion regarding this possibility.

C’mon, Apple, while industry observers and pundits are completely distracted by the promise of new laptops using a more specialized chipset, surprise ’em all with a productivity update, too. Give us some great new software to run on that great new hardware.

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