Over the last few years, Apple used technologies from its Macintosh computers to create the iPhone and the iPad, building a multibillion-dollar mobile computing business that now accounts for 60 per cent of its revenue.
Now Apple is doing the reverse, taking technologies like the multitouch user interface from the iPhone and the iPad and using them to refresh its Mac business.
On Wednesday, Steven P. Jobs, the chief executive, unveiled two versions of its ultra-thin MacBook Air laptops. He also demonstrated an early version of Apple's new OS X operating system, which will be available next summer. In addition to multitouch, the new hardware and software incorporate the video phone software FaceTime, an App Store and other popular features of Apple’s hand-held products.
The new MacBooks come in two sizes of screens, 11.6-inch and 13.3-inch. They weigh 2.3 pounds, and 2.9 pounds, respectively. For comparison, the iPad weighs 1.5 pounds. The laptops’ thickness tapers from 0.68 of an inch at one end to 0.11 of an inch at the other. They have no optical or magnetic storage. Instead, like the iPad, they are built on Flash storage, which allows them to turn on instantly when powered up.
The new MacBook Air models are priced aggressively, starting at $999.