Apple's big day : Siri's next tricks, new Macbook, and mapping - but price grumbles grow

Apple unveiled its new top-of-the-line laptop yesterday, the Macbook Pro, at the Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco.

Schiller and new Macbook pro

But some of the comments on the ZDNet website were far from favourable, focusing on the price of $2200.

Other biggies: Siri on the iPad, and a mapping app which will challenge makers like Garmin.

But still the grumbles grew. Typical comments on the ZDNet website: " Apples are like Ducatis. A LOT more money for a non-commodity product without significantly greater (if any) performance." .

"Over $2k for a 15 inch laptop which PC vendors will sell within 6 months for under $500. I am a Life Long Apple user, ".. but i just no longer see that OS-X is worth that difference in price point!"

"Silly little useless phone app called iOS is quickly becoming my OS of choice. Apple is meeting us halfway by offering it but they're still covering their tail by sticking to old dinosaur OSX."

"SSD drives are incredibly expensive. Apple was charging $1100 at the end of 2011 for an upgrade package from a standard .How expensive is this hdd gonna cost by itself!? Must be around $2,500 to $3,000. Who has that cash to throw around?"

"Maybe they'll get smart and try more competitive pricing".

At 10 a.m. Pacific time, CEO Tim Cook walked on stage for his first keynote speech since Jobs died last October . After announcing the "big changes" in the laptop lineup marketing guru Philip Schiller gave us more.

The MacBook Air will include third-generationIntel (INTC) core processors that will speed up graphics by 60 percent, and will be $100 cheaper at $1,000 to $1,100.

Schiller's big announcement was of a new MacBook, which he said was Apple's attempt at a "next-generation" MacBook Pro. The super-thin laptop is "the most beautiful computer we've ever made," Schiller said showing it off to the crowd.

"It's thinner than my finger," The new MacBook is .7 inches thick.

The new line of MacBook Pro models will include the "retina display," and will be called the "MacBook Pro with Retina Display." Prices will start at $2,200.

.Another type of OS Mountain Lion will be available next month for $20, much less than earlier versions of the Mac OS.

Voice-recognition system Siri on iPad will allow users to open apps and access more information, and will be in some cars for "eyes-free" use. Users will be able to post to Twitter or Facebook through voice dictation.

Then the big news : a new Apple maps application to challenge Google .Shares in road navigation systems fell sharply.

It will use traffic information to reroute drivers around heavy congestion.

Cook then came back to wrap up the two-hour keynote presentation - but did not trot out the Steve Jobs phrase "one more thing"


Ben Reitzes, an analyst with Barclays Capital, was unimpressed with Apple's announcements , saying in an email that the company offered a "nice refresh, but no breakthroughs," the San Jose Mercury News reported.

"Is this the best we can get from Apple, post-Steve Jobs," he asked.

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