The quick reference guide to Apple's keynotes
Seybold SF 1999
Tuesday, August 31, 1999
1 hour, 34 minutes
Moscone West
Public & Press
Steve Jobs
A standard definition version is available on YouTube.
Steve Jobs
  • Over $200 million in profit last quarter, the seventh consecutive quarter in a row
  • With $3 billion in cash, they did a $500 million stock buyback
  • Inventory has been reduced from a day's worth to 15 hours worth
  • Gap's Nikki Glaser is joining the board of directors
  • 2:12
    Steve Jobs
  • Talks about the trailer of Star Wars The Phantom Menace
  • Announces QuickTime TV
  • Regular television needs a receiver, stations, networks, and content
  • Apple has a QuickTime client, a new partnership with Akamai, and content from BBC, ABC News, ESPN, Rolling Stone, and others
  • Announces that Rhino Records and WB Records are on board as well
  • 8:26
    Phil Schiller
  • Does a demo of QuickTime TV
  • 15:49
    Mac OS
    Steve Jobs
  • Mac OS 9 will ship in October and has over 50 new features, goes into detail on 9 of them:
  • 1. Sherlock 2
  • 2. Multiple user support
  • 3. Voiceprint passwords
  • 4. Keychain
  • 5. Auto-updating
  • 6. Encryption
  • 7. File sharing over the Internet
  • 8. AppleScript over TCP/IP
  • 9. Network browser
  • 21:55
    Mac OS
    Phil Schiller
  • Does a demo of Mac OS 9, focusing on voiceprint passwords, Sherlock 2, and AppleScript over TCP/IP
  • 31:34
    Mac OS
    Steve Jobs
  • Mac OS 9 will cost $99
  • 32:10
    Steve Jobs
  • Brings up the 2 x 2 product matrix, and reminds the audience that they are shipping all four of these products today
  • iMac started shipping last August 15, and in that year has sold 2 million units
  • Now 125 USB devices shipping, with many more to come, and shows off a few
  • 4380 new and renewed Mac apps since the iMac was released
  • Third Party Demo
    Third Party Demo
    IBM's Ozzie Osborne
    Via Voice for Mac
    Steve Jobs
  • Says the iBook is designed specifcally for consumers, and now just rehashed pro stuff that's two to three years old
  • The iBook has a 800x600 12.1" TFT display, with ATI Rage Mobility graphics, a 300 MHz G3 processor, CD-ROM drive, 32 MB of RAM, 3.2 GB hard drive, modem and ethernet
  • Uncovers and shows off the iBook, available in Tangerine and Blueberry colors
  • Available for $1599 starting in September, already 140,000 pre-orders
  • We Made an Ad
    We Made an Ad
    Is it possible to fall in love with a computer?
    We Made an Ad
    We Made an Ad
    Barry White singing "You Turned My Whole world Around"
    Steve Jobs
  • The AirPort base station uses 802.11 wireless networking, and the iBook has antennas on either side of its screen, plus a slot to take an AirPort card
  • AirPort has a range of 150 feet
  • The card for iBook is $99, and the base station is $299
  • We Made an Ad
    We Made an Ad
    Watch the skies
    Steve Jobs
  • The PowerBook was updated in May, and are selling fast
  • 45:46
    Steve Jobs
  • The Blue and White PowerMac G3 was last updated in January
  • Shows a picture of a Cray supercomputer and the text "Why do mere mortals need a supercomputer?"
  • Posits that tasks like Photoshop filters, Internet security and encoding QuickTime need faster computers
  • Says that a supercomputer can execute one billion floating-point operations per second, and calculates how many gigaflops are required for those tasks
  • Announces the new PowerPC G4 chip, "a supercomputer on a chip"
  • It adds a 128-bit Velocity Engine processing unit to the branch, integer and floating point units
  • Went to the Intel web site and took their tests for the new Pentium III, and the G4 was 2.94 times faster
  • Available in speeds of 400, 450, and 500 MHz
  • Memory bandwidth on some models will be three times faster, PCI throughput twice as fast
  • Shows off the PowerMac G4 on a rotating stand
  • Itemizes the specs of the three models, with the high-end one getting a DVD-RAM drive, with 5GB removable storage media for under $40
  • Pretty Decent Joke
    Pretty Decent Joke
    "Who wants their floppy back?"
  • Prices for the three models are $1599, $2499 and $3499
  • Rumor Acknowledgment
    Rumor Acknowledgment
    "We're going to delivery these three models, if you listen to the rumor sites, in January, right?"
  • Shipping starts today for the 400 MHz, with the other models coming a few weeks later
  • Says the most intensive way to demonstrate the power of the G4 is Photoshop
  • 1:00:06
    Phil Schiller
  • Runs some scripts in Photoshop 5.5 and a QuickTime encode on a PowerMac G4 and a Compaq Pentium II computer
  • Steve interjects: "Well you have to remember that twice your lifetime is two lifetimes"
  • 1:08:45
    Richard Crandall
  • Goes through three examples of supercomputing using gigaflops, including SETI@home, rendering 30,000 stars with proper physics, and displaying 1024-bit encrypted graphics
  • Pretty Decent Joke
    Pretty Decent Joke
    "I've been waiting a lifetime for this, maybe two lifetimes"
    Steve Jobs
  • Does a final demo with Phil showing rendering from the Mars Pathfinder mission
  • Third Party Appearance
    Third Party Appearance
    Adobe's John Warnock
    We Made an Ad
    We Made an Ad
    Classified a weapon by the U.S. government
  • Says that Apple is not allowed to sell the PowerMac G4 to "sensitive" countries
  • 1:23:05
    Steve Jobs
    One More Thing...
    One More Thing...
    Apple Cinema Display
  • Pushes a wheeled platform out on stage with the new 22" Apple Cinema Display
  • The flat panel's 1600 x 1024 pixels are driven digitally
  • Limited supplies available for $3999 starting in October
  • Asks for a round of applause for Apple employees
  • Memoria

    With a Good Better Best system, the best technology will start at the top end and gradually trickle down through the rest of the line. For instance, the DVD-RAM drive was on the Best model this year, and would be on the Better model next year, and on the Good model the year after that. CHECK THIS

    Shortly after the launch of the PowerMac G4, Apple was forced to go in the other direction, bubbling inferior technology up through the line-up.

    The Good Better Best models announced at this keynote were designated by their processor speeds: 400, 450 and 500 MHz. But the processor speeds weren't the only differences. The three models all had different amounts of RAM, size of hard drives, and three different optical drives.

    And there was a major difference not really mentioned during the keynote. The cheapest PowerMacs, which went on sale immediately, basically used the old G3's motherboard with PCI graphics. The more expensive PowerMacs would be using a new AGP graphics-based motherboard with lots of new features, the most important of which was the ability to drive the new Apple Cinema Display.

    When Motorola called up Apple a few weeks later to say they couldn't make very many 500 MHz G4 chips, Apple was in a quandary. The best model, with the best components and the best margins, had to be on sale this Fall. The only way to sell it would be to put the 450 MHz chip in it. But Motorola wasn't making enough 450 MHz chips to supply both the Better and Best models, so like dominos toppling over, the line-up had to be reconfigured all the way down the line.

    Good Better Best was reconfigured to have 350, 400, and 450 MHz chips. Customers were not happy, but there was little Apple could do. As soon as Motorola was able to get the 500 MHz processors out the door, Apple reset the line-up back to the intended one, and announced it at the Macworld Tokyo keynote.

    It was a rare (but not sole) case of Apple announcing a product they couldn't ship. If Apple was a purely build-to-order company, and didn't need to stock retail stores with ready-to-go SKUs, this would have been an incredibly minor issue. The 500 MHz option would simply have been greyed out (or not shown) on the Apple online store for six months.