Apple has cornered the market for its latest operating system, OS X 10.7 "Lion", making it available to early adopters through its direct-download App Store at a discounted $A31.99 a month before it hits shop shelves.
Resellers may not be so happy that since an update last October to OS X 10.6 "Snow Leopard", the two-year-old operating system Lion replaced, the App Store was baked into the operating system, which made it easy for users to upgrade but sent their software dollars direct to Apple.
Also overnight, Apple made available for sale an update of its lightweight MacBook Air notebook that brought back a backlit keyboard to the device and promised twice the performance of the model it replaced.
Apple said Lion (a 4 gigabyte download) would be sold on a USB thumb drive through the Australian channel for $75 from the end of next month. Mac OS X Lion Server required Lion and was available from the Mac App Store for $51.99.
Its more than 250 new features include support for full-screen applications, a redesigned Mail application, full view of what’s running on your Mac through Mission Control and multi-touch gestures.
“Lion makes upgrading a Mac easier than ever before; just launch the Mac App Store, buy Lion with your iTunes account, and the download and install process will begin automatically,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing.
Lion has features such as Auto Save and Versions that record a document’s history and will allow the user to cut and paste between versions. And its Air Drop feature allows easy peer-to-peer networks to be assembled over wi-fi.
The new MacBook Air that retailed for $A1099 ($US999) for an 11-inch, 64GB SSD and 2 GB of memory to $A1799 for the 13-inch/256 GB/4 GB top-of-the-line model ($US1599) was the most powerful of its class Apple has released. The notebook that had Lion installed also had the new display technology, Thunderbolt, and weighed between 1.08 kilograms and 1.35 kilograms. The new MacBook Air was available from today.
The releases were sure to send Apple's stock higher, already pumped by reported earnings yesterday that crushed Wall Street expectations giving the company a putative market capitalisation of $US400 billion ($A370 billion) shy of oil giant Exxon Mobil, the biggest company on the Standard and Poor's 500 and ahead of rival Microsoft's $US228 billion market cap.
Apple was also rumoured to be working on an update for the iPhone 5, expected to be released before the end of the year.
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Issue: 315 | May 2013
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