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Can Macworld still survive without Apple?We head out to Macworld 2011 to see if the show is back for good or on its last legs. There's new product rumblings, and get ready for Magic Gloves!
-What's up? Brian Tong here and welcome to the Apple Byte. It's good to be back. I brought a Hawaii tan for your all, Macworld is happening, and a lot has gone down since I was away including Steve Jobs taking another medical leave of absence. We wish him the best, but I'm just happy that he'll be spending a lot more time with me now. Won't you little Stevie, bobaboo. I know you want it. You guys are still there, aren't you? Alright, well, let's get to the news. We had more details on the Verizon iPhone 4. Plans will start at $39.99 and data plans will cost $30 more per month. The mobile hotspot feature exclusive to the Verizon version at the moment will cost you an additional $20. Now, new users and current Verizon subscribers will have access to an unlimited data plan. But incoming CEO, Lowell McAdam said it will be a temporary offer. To counter AT&T's subscribers from defecting, the Associated Press is reporting that AT&T is quietly offering some current customers unlimited data plans if they had the iPhone prior to June 2010 to prevent them from leaving for Verizon. So, the battle for subscribers is on, and hey! AT&T call me. Now, it's late January. It's Macworld time where Apple's consumer lines usually get updated and chatter for new product refreshes is picking up. According to macrumors.com and my own retail friends, MacBook Pro supplies for the 15- and 17-inch models are running low at Apple Stores and third party resellers. We expect to see a refresh by the first half of the year with Intel's powerful Sandy Bridge processors. But if you're on the market right now, just wait it out. Trust me, it will be worth it. iMacs are refreshed about every 7 to 8 months and the last one was in July of last year, so be patient my friends. Alright, I keep talking about Macworld, but you probably wanna see what the show look like, so we send one of our monkeys out to the show for just a few blocks from our studio to check it out this year. Alright guys, Brian Tong here on Macworld 2011. This is day one, so we're gonna see what we can find here on the show floor. Alright, we're here in front of ZAGGmate with my friend, Howard. He's gonna tell us about their ZAGGmate. I guess this is a keyboard, a case companion. What do you guys call it? -It is. This is very, very, very light. Touching this, if you're actually grabbing- Brian touch it, doesn't really add- -It's light. I mean, I work a lot but it's light. -Look at the arms. -Yeah. -You're not supposed to be looking at that, Howard. -Won't add any extra weight to the iPad. What's nice is you can put this in landscape. You can pop it up to portrait. He's got the perfect companion where you can now give up your actual laptop. -Okay. Okay. Perfect companion is kinda like marketing speak. If you told your friend about this case, what would you say it was? -Coolest thing in the entire world, it's gnarly, bro. -At Macworld, I'm always looking to find the perfect case for my iPad and I think I found it. I'm here with Tom [unk] on Macworld. We've seen a lot of unique things. People were talking about wearable computers but how about a wearable iPad. Tom, explain to me what this rig is? -Okay. We're calling it the Mobile Pad and basically it's a mobile office for an iPad. -You look like a dangerous man right now Tom. -Okay. One time when I went into the courthouse, the security- -You went in a courthouse with this thing? -Yeah. He thought I was carrying explosives. -I thought you are carrying explo- I mean, look this looks like artillery. -Okay. -You know, you have to be careful what you say around people wearing that. -That's true. What you wanna do is put it on like a t-shirt, put your arms through like that, push the upper. -How do ladies react to this? What do you think about this thing? What do you think about this thing? What do you think about this thing? -That's small. -You said it's kinda small. I'm asking about the iPad. Now, we also have to find the most productive applications for you guys out there, and I think I found it here at MotionPortrait with their app called ZombieBooth. So, basically, what it does is using your iOS device, you take a picture of your face. It maps out what your eyes and mouth are, and then from there, it creates you in zombie form. Here it is, B zombie. So there you have it. We were dominated by accessories here. I mean, I'm gonna admit I'm a little disappointed. The show space is bigger. There were definitely more people here, but I don't know. I'm feeling like it's losing it's oomph. Just gotta keep it real. Alright, back to you guys in the studio. Now, we love those Apple patents and the big A was just awarded one for what they call a new Magic Glove System. The gloves work with capacitive touchscreens which include, you know, just a few products like the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad. They aren't even bashful about calling it the Magic Glove with products like the Magic Mouse, Magic Trackpad. You can almost bet that we'll see these in the future. Alright, to the quick bites, Apple's 10 billionth app was downloaded and the winner was Gail Davis from the UK. The app was Paper Glider, but it was one of her 2 daughters who downloaded the app. When she received the phone call that she had won $10,000 for the price, she hung up, thinking it was a prank but her daughters explained. Apple called back and everyone is a happy camper now. Also, Apple's Mac app store has its first success story with the image editor Pixelmator. It grows $1 million in just 20 days. You can probably guess that they're ecstatic about it. Also, according to Apple insider, a report says an unnamed Japanese company has made a new paint material that can be applied with more precision to be the Apple standards for the "white" iPhone 4. Internal listings from AT&T and Best Buy have shown a potential in-stock date of February 25th, so we'll see if this magical unicorn arrives. And if apple.com looks a little different to your eyes, they're not fooling you. It received a makeover and is now based on HTML5. You noticed a darker navigation bar, but the best part, cool animations. Sometimes, that's enough to make a grown man gig. Alright, that's gonna do it for this week's show. Send your e-mails and questions to the Apple Byte at cnet.com. I'm Brian Tong, thanks for watching. And if you don't believe I got a tan, I have the tan line to prove it and it's right-