Apple creates world's thinnest laptop

<div class="meta image-caption"><div class="origin-logo origin-image ap"><span>AP</span></div><span class="caption-text">Apple CEO Steve Jobs holds up the new MacBook Air portable computer. (AP)</span></div>
January 16, 2008 3:28:22 PM PST
Apple is making a move into the movie business. That was one of the much anticipated announcements from Apple CEO Steve Jobs at Macworld on Tuesday. Jobs made it clear that Apple expects to be a force in home entertainment.

It was a year ago that Apple dropped "computer" from its name, and it's clear today that it's starting to deliver on its broadened vision. When it comes to design, Apple isn't just an innovator, it's a "thinnovator."

"There's clearly something in the air today," said Jobs, who wasn't kidding. He delivered the world's thinnest notebook computer, the new MacBook Air.

It's 0.16 inches thin to be exact. It weighs just three pounds, has a battery life of five hours and a high-performance Intel Core 2 Duo chip redesigned to be 60-percent smaller.

Techies are drooling all over it.

"Technology object of desire for 2008. This is the one that people are going to want," says Jupiter Research Analyst Michael Gartenberg

Apple also dealt a blow to the movie rental business, unveiling online movie rentals. New releases are $3.99 and older titles are a dollar less. You can get HD quality for a dollar more. You can play them as much as you want in 24 hours on a Mac or PC, even transfer them from one device to another. Every major movie studio is on board including Touchstone, Miramax, MGM, Lionsgate and New Line Cinema.

Apple also upgraded its Apple TV device to download movies by itself, without a computer.

The iPhone and iPod touch also are getting upgrades, including a map program that pinpoints where you are. It's not done by satellite, known as GPS. Instead, it's done by using Wi-Fi hot spots and cell phone towers.

"We triangulate the beacons, look in their database, and it tells us where we are," explained Jobs in his keynote address.

One thing that Apple probably has uppermost in its mind is boosting its market share, and 2008 might be a pivotal year.

Apple has a seven-percent share of the market. As it expands its grip on home entertainment, using a combination of hardware and software, analysts see growth.

"We actually believe Apple will gain about two more points in market share in calendar 2008, so we believe clearly that more and more people are going to not only discover Apple, but they're going to start buying Apple products," says Creative Strategies Analyst Tim Bajarin.

Wall Street wasn't overly enthusiastic about Steve Jobs' announcements. Apple stock fell $9.74 -- a loss of almost five-and-a-half percent. Netflix, which could be hurt by Apple's movie rentals, lost 72 cents. Also, Blockbuster lost 54 cents -- a very dramatic drop of over 16-percent.

Apple is still up $76 over the close last year after Jobs introduced the iPhone.

Read David Louie's live blog from the Macworld keynote address here.


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