Apple CEO Steve Jobs last week unveiled two new products in his keynote address at Macworld Expo in Tokyo. A new 23-inch Apple Cinema HD Display with 1920 x 1200 resolution joins the company’s existing LCD flat-panel displays and will sell for $3,500 when it becomes available next month. (In contast, the 22-inch Apple Cinema Display, still available for $2,500, offers a mere 1600 by 1024 resolution.) The company says the new display’s resolution will allow editing of HDTV (high definition television) digital video "with room to spare." At the same time, Apple introduced a more capacious iPod, a $500 version of the portable MP3 player with a 10 GB internal hard drive, available immediately. The existing 5 GB model remains available for $400. For an extra $50, either model can be personalized at the Apple Store with laser engraving of two lines of text containing up to 27 characters each.
Jobs also previewed Apple’s upcoming support for Bluetooth. The short-range wireless communication technology is intended to link personal electronic devices such as computers, cell phones, and personal digital assistants when they’re in close proximity. Promising "a Bluetooth solution that actually works and is easy to use," Jobs said that, in early April 2002, Mac OS X users will be able to download free preview software from Apple’s Web site for use with the D-Link USB Bluetooth adapter, itself to be offered at the Apple Store for $50. Apple’s Bluetooth software will automatically recognize other Bluetooth devices that come into range and offer to connect to them.
At the same event, Jobs made the surprise announcement that, effective 21-Mar-02, current flat-panel iMac configurations have increased in price by $100; orders placed prior to that date retain the price at the time of order. Citing rising component costs for memory and flat-panel screens, Jobs defended the price hikes as a better alternative to keeping the original pricing but reducing features. Given the demand for the new iMac, we don’t see the price increase as a deal-killer: Apple says it has shipped 125,000 new iMacs since the model’s introduction in January and is now shipping 5,000 iMacs per day.