Everything but Macworld

I decided to wait a day to post my comments on the Macworld SF 2007 Keynote. I'm glad I did, because my feelings have changed in the last 20 hours or so. Yesterday at this time I was all "ZOMG! iPhone eez teh w00t!!!" but I told myself before the Keynote that that would probably happen due to the amazing RDF of Mr. Steve Jobs. And I was right.

The RDF has worn off and I have a lot of questions and complaints for Apple.

Does Apple realize Canada exists? Will the iPhone come to Canada? They're going to have to find a wireless partner in Canada to implement the "random access voicemail" feature, if Cingular will even let them, that is. Or, maybe they'll just release a crippled iPhone in Canada that doesn't do all the cool things that US customers can do.

Crippled, kinda like the iPod, Mac and Apple TV. In Canada, we can't watch TV shows or Movies on the iPod (or our Macs) unless we download them using something like BitTorrent, and then convert it to iPod format. In the US, customers can use the iTunes store for that... even though we get the same movies in our theatres and pay for the same US networks as part of our cable and satellite packages as US customers.

It was hinted somewhere that the Canadian iTunes store would get TV and movies at MWSF2007 so I've been patient and quiet about this but not any longer. This sucks! I'm still using a 4G iPod because there's no good reason to get a 5G iPod without being able to put TV and Movies on it. I do not have the time or inclination to figure out how to find the shows I want using BitTorrent or waste my CPU and disk resources to store and convert the shows I download to watch them on the iPod.

So why would I want an Apple TV? To watch video podcasts? ROFL! I can already look at my pictures on my TV with reasonable ease using my Nintendo Wii, and sure, Apple TV would be better, but not $349+tax better, especially not when Apple considers me a 2nd class citizen... or is it 4th class, Apple had the decency to tell European and Asian customers it hadn't forgotten about THEM.

Honestly, I was surprised they even bothered releasing Apple TV in Canada... it's one thing to cripple the Canadian iTunes store and just not mention the TV and Movies features on the Apple.ca web pages about iTunes and iPod, but it's another to release a product that is pretty much useless without those features. The Apple.ca web page about Apple TV actually says:

"But what if you want to watch music videos, movie trailers, podcasts, and photos on TV? At $349, Apple TV gives you more to watch on the big screen."

$349 to watch MUSIC VIDEOS and MOVIE TRAILERS? Are you KIDDING ME? You want me to pay for a device so I can watch ADVERTISEMENTS? Podcasts and Photos on my TV for $349? What an embarassment.

Apple.com for the US:

"But what if you want to watch movies, TV shows, movie trailers, podcasts, and photos from your computer on your TV? At $299, Apple TV brings iTunes to the big screen."

Now we're talking.

Apple.com didn't even bother mentioning music videos above, they don't have to stoop that low. Why should Canadian customers have to pay full price for a horribly crippled product?

I watched the Keynote with my wife last night, but didn't anything to her about availability beforehand. I wanted to see her response to the iPhone. Forget "you had me at scrolling", Steve had her before he even turned the thing on! I'm not kidding, she wanted to return her birthday gifts and buy one immediately, before he even unlocked it or showed one bit of the UI! Sorry honey, no dice, at least for the indefinite future.

Canada doesn't even have any Apple Stores, unless you count Toronto is only part of Canada because Torontonians have learned to tolerate the rest of the country. What about Vancouver? What about Victoria? Apple has stores in smaller places. Vancouver and Victoria have more than enough wealthy people to support an Apple Store, and both cities attract tons of American and international tourists every year. For that matter, what about Montreal? As a Canadian Apple customer not living in TO, I feel pretty distant from the Company.

I'd love a new iPod, but it's crippled so I won't buy one. I'd love an Apple TV but it's horribly cripped so don't even try to sell me one. I'd love an iPhone but, ditto, and that's before I even worry about which network I'm going to be forced to sign a contract with, nevermind the fact that Canada doesn't have flat-rate wireless data rates yet unless you have a Blackberry or a Hiptop. I'd love a MacBook or an iMac, but I can't really use Front Row to its full potential so I might as well stick with that I have.

I'm really disappointed with Apple. I love their products but just can't justify buying them. As a developer, the iPhone is even more intriguing, that is, if they'll actually let small developers make apps for it.


And for that matter, when was the last time no Macs or new versions of Mac OS were announced or previewed at MACworld? No new Macs? Huh? Apple Inc., indeed.

My guess is the next new Macs that come out will be iPhone-esque, they'll have high-resolution multi-touch displays, because once you've played with an iPhone, you just don't want to go back to the mouse.

Written on January 11, 2007