Steve Jobs had a busy week, entertaining fans and inciting competitors.
Apple's CEO unveiled a new line of MacBook Airs that are thinner and lighter than the prior model, while aiming to offer the instant-on and long battery life found in the iPad. Available in 11.6-inch and 13.3-inch models, the machines range from $999 to $1,599 depending on the combination of screen, processor, and storage. All use flash memory rather than a hard drive, boasting anywhere from five to seven hours of battery life in "wireless Web use," Apple said.
Jobs also announced that
Mac OS X Lion, the next installment of the Mac OS, will be available next summer. The new version is designed to take some of the features found in iOS, such as multitouch gestures, and bring them to the Mac.
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But it was Jobs' remarks during a surprise appearance on Apple's earnings call that generated the most buzz in tech circles. Jobs explained the rare dial-in as a tribute to Apple's first $20 billion quarter--it had been two years since his last earnings call visit, but the true purpose of the appearance was apparently to deliver a rant regarding the fragmentation of Android, Google's alleged obfuscation of "open" versus "closed" platforms, and the shortcomings of 7-inch touch-screen tablets.
His targets took little time in responding.
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