Of Lions, Gates, and Air

October sure was a busy month for the busy bees in Cupertino...

  • Lions. At its "Back to the Mac" event last week, Apple introduced a plethora of new goodies, but perhaps the most exciting of them all was the sneak peak of the next iteration of Mac OS X, which Steve and friends are calling Lion. It's the digital lovechild of the Mac and iPad...ya know, if they ever got really drunk one night and got it on. Lion won't ship until next summer, but the biggest part of the news OS -- the Mac App Store -- will be coming to Snow Leopard within 90 days. And while most tech pulse-watchers (myself included) agree that the Mac App Store was the biggest news from Apple's event, it certainly didn't stop anyone from raising a whole bunch of legitimate questions about the vitality of Steve's latest idea. Personally, I'm looking forward to the Mac App Store and Lion in general -- I really like their approach of melding iOS with Mac OS X. So while I wait, I'll just wish I had somebody to FaceTime with. My MacBook and iPhone 4 are ready, willing, and able.
  • Gates. Gates everywhere because Apple's always embroiled in some sort of media-fabricated scandal. Surefire click bait and a surefire way to spread FUD throughout the Apple universe. First there was Antennagate. Then Glassgate. Then...well, just read my favorite mythical beast's latest column to get the lowdown on all these gates. Count me as one of the people who'd storm the Bastille in protest of the iPad's orientation lock switch being repurposed. And I bet this guy will be right there with me, flamethrower in hand, on the front line.
  • Air. "The next generation of MacBooks", of course -- the all-new MacBook Air. Because only the nerdiest of nerds would appreciate the fact this little (literally) beauty has no disc drive, no hard drive, and Flash memory that's build right into the computer's logic board. Reviews of the new Airs have been really positive so far. The only thing that's keeping me from putting this on my Christmas list is the fact it doesn't have a backlit keyboard. But after playing with both models at my "local" Apple Store the other day, I may just get one, backlighting be damned. It really is that awesome. And thin. And light. My back will thank me when I'm traipsing off to class.
  But even as great as Lions and Airs are, nothing comes close to topping the news that Apple made $20B in their last fiscal qaurter and now have amassed a $51B war chest, perfect for expanding data centers or luring Mark Zuckerberg into its aluminum-and-glass cave. What's more, the Big A sold 14 million iPhones this last quarter, which was a 91% increase over last year's figures. Even forces like Antennagate or the mythical Loch Ness Monster white iPhone 4 weren't enough to slay the beast. Yep, October was a blockbuster month for Apple, even if this guy says otherwise.