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Apple WWDC 2009: the good, the bad, and the ugly

Nilay Patel
June 8, 2009
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Sure, Apple didn't really shock anyone with the announcement of the iPhone 3G S this morning at WWDC, but there was no shortage of news at the Moscone Center -- we also got new MacBooks, final Snow Leopard details, and a release date for iPhone OS 3.0. On the other hand, it wasn't all good news either: AT&T's iPhone upgrade pricing and service levels leave a lot to be desired, and Apple's unfortunate penchant for sealed-in batteries has finally hit the 15-inch MacBook Pro. Apple's posted its stream of the keynote if you want to relive things in real-time, but here's a quick rewind in case you missed anything:

The good

The bad
  • As usual, iPod touch owners are going to get dinged $9.95 for the iPhone OS 3.0 upgrade. Hey Apple -- maybe switch these guys over to subscription accounting as well?
  • Let's face it, "iPhone 3G S" is a pretty clunky name.
  • Sure, it's nice that the MacBook Pros now have an SD card slot, but losing ExpressCard hurts. And why not a multicard reader? Pro DSLRs still use CF.
The ugly
  • Sure, new customers and qualified upgraders are getting some sweet pricing on iPhone hardware, but AT&T's basically flipping existing customers the bird -- they'll have to pay anywhere from $399 to a whopping $699 to get an iPhone 3G S. You'd think they'd have looked at how many people went from a first-gen iPhone to a 3G and realized those same people would want a 3G S, but apparently not.

  • On top of that insult, AT&T isn't supporting all of iPhone OS 3.0's features out the gate: MMS is coming "later this summer," and tethering has been promised but there's no timeline and no pricing information. Thanks, AT&T.
  • Sure, it's grand that the 15-inch MacBook Pro's battery now lasts for up to seven hours on a charge and won't lose capacity for five years, but a non-swappable battery on a workhorse professional machine just doesn't cut it for us.
So all in all we'd say that the good outweighs the bad, although AT&T really disappointed here. Of course, that's just scratching the surface -- check out the rest of our coverage after the break and let us know what you think!

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