Now we all know that Steve Jobs always has a much larger, long-term perspective and business strategy than most CEOs. So, I was skeptical that the slogan could be as simple as the addition of WIMAX or a lightweight touchbook or an updated HD/Blu-Ray Apple TV that streamed back and forth with your other Apple devices over 3G and Draft N. So I decided to google the phrase "there is something in the Air" and "Apple" and see what came up. Here is what I found most interesting:http://www.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/erm0561.pdf
It's a 2005 discussion about the importance of podcasting to education. More interesting in the article is mention of the impact of podcasting upon human civilization's ability to communicate. This is the kind of thinking that would merit attribution to Steve Jobs. We know Steve has mentioned in Apple meetings that the direction of Apple is about the ability to create and DISTRIBUTE content, hence the connection of Final Cut and iTunes. Steve has always seen the marriage between video, voice, music, and the spoken word and the need for a distribution medium which is as accessible and simple to use as are Macs to the Mac consumer.
Thus, I suspect the "Something in the Air" theme has to do with the marriage of all Apple products towards Steve's stated goal of perfecting the ability to mass communicate high quality video, images, voice, music, etc. to the masses (via iTunes and all Apple products of course). In order to accomplish this, he's got to make the Mac computer the creation station and the iPhone/iPod, Apple TV, and likely sub-notebook/newton-like tablet device able to freely pass the content. To do this, he's got to leverage all the wireless bandwidth he can (hence the Starbucks wifi access (with ordering and iTunes a way for Starbucks to increase revenue and co-brand their complimentary products)), open up the potential for access to all AT&T Wifi-spots, and introduction of 3G into the new products (tablet, iPhone2, etc.). The Apple TV HD wifi problem has already been licked with draft-N, so introduce a new Apple TV with draft-N and a faster processor to handle 1080p footage (with a Sony 1080p Blu-Ray Drive to boot) and Apple suddenly sets itself up to dominate the hi def disc market the way it's done it with iTunes and the iPhone.
Apple strategy is all about building a brand of products that are interdependent and provide additional value to the consumer if purchased together as a family. All of that content we create on our computers, combined with that content we can download to our computers (or our devices which will synch to our computers -- wirelessly "in the air of course") from iTunes (whether it be podcasts, movies, songs, or audio books) makes for an "easy", familiar, one-stop shop approach to how purchase, create, store, play and (most importantly) "distribute" our media. We're going to use Steve's computers, devices, network and software to do it because its simpler, sexier, smarter, faster, and better than any alternative. Sure, there will be nay sayers (mostly Redmond junkies who don't get it yet), but world consumers will flock like sheep to this "air lifestyle" because it will be the coolest thing that we all wanted but never really knew until Steve Jobs figured it out for us (because we're collectively pretty bad at effectively knowing and communicating what we want and mostly because most big companies don't care what the consumer wants, they only care about fleecing our pockets and running off with our money).
So, if I am correct, look for a series of new products (yes some will be perceived as just badly needed updates, but Steve has been waiting to bring them together like an orchestra) such as:
1. HD Apple TV (with Blu-Ray because the discs are out there and if Steve can get BD purchasers to buy up his HD Apple TVs he'll have them on his network for a generation and make gobs of cash from them).
2. SONY BDs in all new macs (because HD video is central to this Apple Video-centric strategy, he wants you to use his software and computers to make your HD movies until the point that all of your relatives have HD Apple TVs capable of getting the same content via his iTunes Network). Which means that the new Mac Pros already have BD drives in them and will get a firmware update to enable them after Mac World (just like he did when he hid draft-N in the iMacs for months).
3. Final Cut Studio and Express updates to be able to burn BDs and iTunes-streamable HD content (you can already do this on iTunes and Web Gallery).
4. A space upgrade to Apple's secret You Tube (aka Web Gallery) to accomodate all of that HD content you'll be creating.
5. 3G built into all MacBooks (including the MacTouch's that will be released next week) with enticing AT&T discounts to users who connect more than one data device to their network, with Apple getting a slice from each account, of course.
6. Free access to all AT&T wifi spots around the world for all AT&T iPhone and soon to be MacTouch customers.
7. A huge expansion of the iTunes library with the addition of nearly all of the rest of the major labels' and movies houses' content into iTunes (DRM Free for the most part).
8. A 3G iPhone announcement (but won't be available until around May).
9. Sony announcement that it will distribute its films and music via iTunes.
10. Ability to wirelessly synch all of your recent generation Apple Devices.
11. Potential announcement that Apple is Purchasing Adobe and merging their products into Final Cut and Aperature (thereby grabbing a huge PC-link into iTunes "Distribution").
With all of this, Apple will make it easy (but not necessarily cheap) for you begin your journey into your future Apple lifestyle "in the air." See you at the Apple Store (or Best Buy)...